Manchester City will endeavour to keep the pressure on Premier League title rivals Arsenal when they travel to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace on Saturday evening.
New Year’s Eve was the last time Patrick Vieira led his side to victory after beating Bournemouth 2-0 at the Vitality Stadium.
The Eagles have since embarked on an appalling 10-game winless run, including four defeats and five draws in their last nine league games.
Palace snapped a chain of three successive draws against Brighton & Hove Albion, Brentford and Liverpool with a narrow 1-0 defeat against Aston Villa last weekend.
Joachim Andersen’s own goal just before the half-hour mark was the highlight of a tepid display from Vieira’s side that failed to register even a single shot on target for the second successive game.
Palace may sit 12th on the table, but the threat of a relegation dogfight is looming as they are only five points above the bottom three, albeit with a game in hand on 18th-placed Everton.
Still on the hunt for their first league win of the new year, the goal-shy Eagles will find it difficult to reverse their fortunes, with City keen to avoid losing any more ground in their quest to retain their crown.
Pep Guardiola’s side have been on a rampage since recording frustrating successive draws against Nottingham Forest and RB Leipzig in the Champions League.
Having recovered their form, the Cityzens have won their last three games on the trot against Bournemouth, Bristol City and Newcastle United by a combined scoreline of 9-1.
With just five points separating them from the relentless league leaders, the reigning champions can close the gap on Arsenal to two points with a win on Saturday, piling the pressure on Mikel Arteta’s side, who are not in action until Sunday.
It will take a special performance from Palace to snatch a valuable three points on Saturday. But they can take solace from their recent home form that has seen them frustrate opponents at Selhurst Park after drawing each of their last four home league games, all of which were against teams currently in the top eight.
Palace are winless in their last seven league home games against City (D2, L5) since a 2-1 victory in April 2015. They have failed to score in five of those seven games, including each of the last three.
Vieira’s men are currently on the longest ongoing winless run in the league games thus far (D5, L4), and no other side have collected fewer points this year than the Eagles (5, level with Bournemouth).
The Eagles have drawn their last four league games on home turf. They last drew five in a row in March 2000 when in the second tier, while the last team to do so in the English top flight was Burnley in March 2021.
Palace have failed to register a single shot on target more times than any other side this season (4), including in their last two matches. No top-flight side have drawn a blank three times in a row since the 2003/04 campaign.
City head into Saturday’s encounter on the back of seven away wins from 13 league games thus far (D3, L3), with only Arsenal claiming more points on the road this season.
However, Guardiola’s side have already dropped more points away from home this term (15) than they did in the entirety of last season (11).
Despite failing to win three of their last six meetings with Palace, Guardiola’s side will feel confident of completing the double over an out-of-form Eagles outfit after emerging as winners in the reverse fixture at the Etihad Stadium in August.
City’s goal machine Erling Braut Haaland will be licking his lips at the prospect of facing the Eagles again after scoring his first Premier League hat-trick in the reverse fixture when City came from 2-0 down at half-time to win 4-2.
Only Emmanuel Adebayor has ever scored two hat tricks against an opponent in the same season. He did so against Derby County in the 2007/08 campaign.
Crystal Palace vs Manchester City Potential Line-ups
Crystal Palace (4-3-3): Vincente Guaita; Nathaniel Clyne, Joachim Andersen, Marc Guehi, Tyrick Mitchell; Will Hughes, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Eberechi Eze; Jordan Ayew, Wilfried Zaha, Michael Olise.
Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson; Rico Lewis, Manuel Akanji, Ruben Dias, Nathan Ake; Bernardo Silva, Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne; Phil Foden, Erling Braut Haaland, Jack Grealish.
How to Watch?
Palace vs Man City, alongside all other fixtures in England’s top flight, is available to watch online via live Premier League streams.
Crystal Palace vs Manchester City Prediction
Vieira’s men are struggling to pose a threat in the final third, but they also run a tight ship at the back, having conceded more than one goal in a game just once in their last eight outings.
While the likes of Zaha and Olise can cause City problems on their day, Guardiola and co should have no problems running out comfortable winners in South London.
Crystal Palace 0-3 Manchester City
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