Manchester City v Crystal Palace Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
December 18, 2018
Etihad Stadium - Premier League
Manchester City look to maintain the hunt after Liverpool for the top sport, as they host Crystal Palace in Premier League action. The Eagles may not be in the best form but showed great resilience in their recent win over Leicester City.
The most recent face-off between these two sides, almost precisely a year ago saw Palace hold their visitors to a goalless draw- a marked improvement following a 5-0 at the Etihad.
Pep Guardiola will have been glad to reintroduce Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero in the mid-week fixture, although neither is likely to start this weekend. Having rested the likes of Fernandinho, and with David Silva injured, a similar side is expected to that which beat Everton last Saturday.
Roy Hodgson is also able to welcome back a few key players with Wilfred Zaha and James Tomkins both serving out yellow-card suspensions last week. Both are expected to slot straight back into the starting line-up, despite an impressive performance at centre-back from Martin Kelly.
Manchester City v Crystal Palace Preview and Predictions
Following Manchester City's surprise defeat to Chelsea, close attention was paid to the champions on their return to Premier League football, against an in-form Everton side. However, Pep Guardiola and his players reinforced their fine reputations with a confident, reassured performance that will be an ominous sign for Crystal Palace. Indeed, City are 3/19 for the win, with Palace at 22/1 and even the draw is out to 17/2.
Roy Hodgson's side won against the odds against Leicester last weekend, keeping the Eagles aloft outside the relegation zone. Much like last season, the South London club has been decimated by injuries, forcing the manager into near weekly rotations and formation changes - clearly impacting results. Whilst many will point to bad fortune, the board must surely be losing patience with the likes of Christian Benteke and Connor Wickham, neither of whom have impressed in front of goal, even when fit.
Against City, Palace are highly unlikely to get many chances to score, making the value of a prolific striker even higher. A small mercy for the away side will be the returning Zaha, who, despite not being an out-and-out forward, offers the attributes to offer a threat on Saturday. Blessed with pace, and more than willing to take a man on, the Ivory Coast man will be charged with sitting on the last man, preventing the likes of John Stones from dictating play from an advanced position.
Unfortunately for Hodgson, Guardiola's back-line are all capable ball players, meaning that Zaha and the team as a whole will have to time their press well to avoid being passed through. In the past, sides that have dropped deep against the Blues have been patiently picked apart, however, it would be a surprise if the Eagles were to try anything else at the Etihad this weekend.
With a squad who’s leading scorer is Luka Milevojevic, attacking the Premier League champions is likely to be simply too counter-intuitive for Hodgson to risk.
Riyad Mahrez to score anytime at 19/20
The left-winger has been pushed further wide that usual by Guardiola, and will find more space than the majority of attacking players as a result on Saturday.
Manchester City to win to nil at 4/5
Given Palace's struggles in front of goal this season, it is difficult to anticipate anything other than a dominant City victory.