Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola would be counting on Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling to continue their goal-scoring form when they host Crystal Pace at the Etihad Stadium this afternoon. City striker Aguero became the highest scoring overseas player of all time in the Premier League last weekend.
The Citizens are looking to extend their winning streak in all competitions against the Eagles, after their triumphant 6-1 victory over Aston Villa last Sunday. Guardiola will be hoping that his players will hand him a perfect gift of three points as he celebrates his 49th birthday today.
Palace shocked City last year in the Premier League, winning 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium, which dented their title hopes at the time. Fortunately for City, the result never proved to be costly as they pipped Liverpool to the title on the final day but a loss this season could see Jurgen Klopp’s men extend their enormous advantage even further.
City sit 14 points behind Liverpool having played a game more, but they will be hoping that rivals Manchester United can do them a favour at Anfield on Sunday. While Palace are in ninth place in the table, they have an impressive defensive record of 24 goals conceded, only scored 20 – and with City already scoring 62 this term.
Roy Hodgson’s men will be wary of Kevin De Bruyne in the centre as Guardiola would be hoping to continue his incredible form against Palace. The Belgian has scored three goals and provided seven assists in just ten games against the London club in all competitions. Rodri and David Silva should complete the midfield trio who are very good at counter-attacks.
After being rested against the Villans, Raheem Sterling should replace Gabriel Jesus in the starting XI. The Brazilian performed well on the left last week but Riyad Mahrez and Sergio Aguero are set to start today. In midfield, Rodri is expected to continue to anchor the line in a defensive role. His solidity and assured passing will be essential in nullifying the threat of Jordan Ayew who impressed against Arsenal.
Date: Saturday, 18 January 2020
Kick-off time: 3pm (UK time)
Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Head to head (H2H) history
- Premier League games: 19
- Man City wins: 12
- Palace wins: 3
- Draws: 4