The final match of what has already been a dramatic weekend in the Premier League comes along in the Monday Night Football when Manchester City look to move six points clear at the summit once again when they head to Selhurst Park to take on Crystal Palace.
Palace have the chance to move into the top half of the table with a win here which would further highlight the improvement they have made under Patrick Vieira so this should be a decent match between two offense minded sides.
Where to watch
The match will be shown as part of the Monday Night Football programme on the Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League channels. The show begins at 7pm and the match kicks off in London at 8pm.
Crystal Palace fans have gotten used to their team occupying the reaches of 11-15 in the Premier League table over the last few seasons but there is a chance they could better that. Even if they don’t and they are in those positions again, the feeling I get is that they are enjoying watching the Patrick Vieira style a lot more than the Roy Hodgson one. What Vieira has done is offer up an attacking approach which sees Palace take the game to the opposition.
That does mean they are slightly more vulnerable defensively but I guess they have gone with the thought process that against the better teams they are likely to be exposed anyway but at least this way they can impose themselves on the weaker teams in the league and if they happen to catch one of the top sides on an off day they have the attacking threat to strike. It is refreshing to see such a change in style and even better to see it work like it has.
I guess in many ways Manchester City can’t really win in this match because if they do claim the three points everyone is expecting them to do that and if they slip up then they bring Liverpool right back into the title race. The good thing for the Citizens is that this isn’t an alien position for them to be in. They are in it in almost every match they play in this division so the pressure that is on them is not something they have not experienced before.
We know the way City will approach this match. They will dominate the position and look to find the space between the Crystal Palace lines to get at their back line and if they are able to keep the back door shut then you would imagine City will win this match but they will need to be careful not to overcommit because there is a lot of pace and quality in this Palace attacking unit and City know all about the difficulties they can cause.
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Crystal Palace coach Patrick Vieira has confirmed that his side remains without midfielder James McArthur and Nathan Ferguson. Joel Ward is closing in on a return to the side but this one might come too soon for him.
Manchester City have one or two injury doubts defensively. Ruben Dias is definitely missing while Nathan Ake and Joao Cancelo could also be unavailable. Gabriel Jesus will be looking to force his way in as will Raheem Sterling.
I think we’ll see some goals in this match. Four of the last seven meetings between the two have seen more than 2.5 goals and six of those matches were with Roy Hodgson as Crystal Palace manager and he was set up more to contain than look to score goals. I think that in particular highlights the potential for goals, especially when you consider that the three matches which went under 2.5 goals had two in each of them.
We know that when they fancy it City can outscore anyone and run up a number of goals. I don’t see Palace sitting back and waiting to be beaten so I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they find the back of the net in this one, or at least create some good chances to do so. If Palace score and City win then we have the three goals needed to land over 2.5 goals but City are definitely capable of covering this line themselves. They haven’t played their first team for more than a week so they should be refreshed enough for a big effort here.
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