Palace aim to complete unlikely double over title-chasers City


Manchester City will hope to rebound from midweek Champion League disappointment but face solid opposition in Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

The south Londoners have already beaten Pep Guardiola’s City once this season, when a goal of the season contender from Andros Townsend propelled Palace to a 3-2 win at the Etihad.

Chelsea in 2016/17 remain the only side able to boast the feat of performing the double of a Guardiola City team as Roy Hodgson’s team look to match those achievements.

Palace will be hoping Martin Atkinson points to the spot during Sunday’s contest with the ever reliable Luka Milivojevic netting ten times from the spot this season. Hodgson compared the Serbian midfielder to Danny Murphy, who regularly dispatched penalties for Fulham during Hodgson’s time at the Cottagers, as the former Olympiakos player closes in on Andrew Johnson’s record of 24 penalties for the Eagles.

On the defensive front, Hodgson has injuries to central defensive pair James Tomkins and Mamadou Sahko. The 71-year-old will have to call upon Scott Dann and Martin Kelly to meet the task of stopping the Premier League’s highest scorers.

Guardiola’s duo of injury concerns come in the form of Oleksandr Zinchenko and Bernardo Silva, who both missed the defeat midweek in Tottenham and are doubts for another trip to London.

City arrive having won their last eight Premier League games, scoring 20 and conceding just two in that time. The visitors will also take confidence from Palace’s home form, Selhurst Park failing to provide the fortress of yesteryear. In fact, Hodgson’s men have won only 41 per cent of their points at home this season, the lowest ratio in the division.

The ever reliable Sergio Aguero was not at his sharp best in City’s loss to Tottenham on Tuesday but is often lethal in London, the Argentine scoring 20 goals in the capital, second only to Wayne Rooney (30) from players who have never represented a London club. The Premier League’s current top scorer has failed to score in five appearances at Selhurst but will be confident of putting the record straight come Sunday afternoon.

Hodgson will ensure that the fixture is no formality for Manchester City as Palace look to ensure safety but with the Citizens in exceptional league form, an away win looks the likely outcome.




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