Crystal Palace vs Manchester City Preview | Team News, Key Men and Stats

Crystal Palace vs Manchester City Preview | Team News, Key Men and Stats

The top two teams after four games meet on Saturday as Manchester City visit South London to take on Crystal Palace. The league leaders have an unblemished record so far, starting off the season with two 3-0 wins, including the thrashing of Chelsea, followed by a pair of 2-0 wins.

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They look like they mean business from the start and record signing Raheem Sterling is adjusting well to life in Manchester, opening his City account with a goal against Watford. Star striker Sergio Aguero is also returning back to full sharpness and has bagged three goals and four assists in his countries’ two friendly wins over Bolivia and Mexico in the past week.

Having recruited well over the summer, Palace come into this game on the back of an astonishing 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge inflicting on Jose Mourinho just his second loss in 100 games Premier league home games. The result preceded by a win over Aston Villa boosted them to second place, and they will be looking to maintain a fine start to the season when they host City.

Team News

Crystal Palace

Bakary Sako should retain his place in the starting XI having scored two goals in his opening two games and start with Yannick Bolaise on the opposite flank. Palace’s game plan will rely on them to hurt City from the flanks with their athleticism and pace.

Yohan Cabaye asked to be hauled off at half-time in midweek playing for France in a friendly against Portugal having felt a slight pain around his pubic bone, but the former Newcastle man should start at Selhurst Park.

Joe Ledley missed the Wales match against Israel on Sunday with a hamstring problem while the likes of Mile Jedinak, Marouane Chamakh, Frazier Campbell and Kwesi Appiah continue to be sidelined with injuries.

Glen Murray has moved to Bournemouth so Connor Wickham will get a chance upfront.

Manchester City

Fabian Delph went off injured just nine seconds into England’s match against Switzerland on Tuesday and he will join Fernando, Paulo Zabaleta and Gael Clichy on the physio table.

Bacary Sagna is another to have picked up injury whilst on international duty, but he has a chance to recover in time here. If he doesn’t, Nicolas Otamendi could be handed a place in the starting line-up with Kevin de Bruyne also in line for a debut.

Sergio Aguero will return from international duty only by early Friday morning and might miss out on a starting berth in which case Wilfried Bony will get his chance upfront. The Ivory Coast striker took part in training on Wednesday having been out with a gash sustained on his ankle. Don’t be surprised if Aguero starts though. South Americans are a tough lot and are rarely put off by lack of training time and minor injuries.

Probable Line-Ups

Crystal Palace (4-2-3-1): McCarthy; Ward, Dann, Souaré, Delaney; McArthur, Cabaye; Bolaise, Puncheon, Sako; Wickham

Manchester City (4-2-3-1): Hart; Kolarov, Mangala, Kompany, Otamendi; Fernandinho, Touré; De Bruyne, Silva, Sterling; Agüero

Last Five Meetings

06 Apr 2015: Crystal Palace 2 – 1 Man. City Premier League
20 Dec 2014: Man. City 3 – 0 Crystal Palace Premier League
27 Apr 2014: Crystal Palace 0 – 2 Man. City Premier League
8 Dec 2013: Man. City 1 – 0 Crystal Palace Premier League
27 Aug 2009: Crystal Palace 0 – 2 Man. City League Cup

Interesting stats

  • There have been 27 shots on target between the two sides in their last four league meetings.
  • Yaya Toure has scored three goals in his last three matches against Crystal Palace.
  • Manchester City have won 7 out of the last 8 meetings between the two sides in all competitions.
  • Man City have scored at least 2 goals in their last 7 matches in the Premier League.
  • Crystal Palace have won 5 of their last 6 matches in the Premier League while Manchester City have won all of their last 10.
  • There have been over 2.5 goals scored in 6 of Crystal Palace’s last 7 games in the Premier League
  • Man City have scored at least 2 goals in their last 7 matches in the Premier League.
  • Palace have averaged 43.8% possession so far, the fourth lowest in the Premier League.

Key Men

Crystal Palace: Yohan Cabaye

Arguably the bargain buy of the summer, Cabaye has taken little time in having a massive impact on his return to England after a troubled 18 unhappy months at PSG. The club record transfer was brilliant at Stamford Bridge showcasing his defensive prowess along with his playmaking skills from deep. Against a strong City midfield, it will be difficult for him to maintain his 87.2% pass accuracy this season.

However it’s his 3.5 tackles and 4 interceptions per game that make for a good reading as it will be his task to break down the play and read the game well pitched up against the likes of David Silva, Yaya Toure and at some point or the other, Kevin de Bruyne.

He is also an expert at bringing the ball out from the back and has averaged 2.3 dribbles per game. Not averse to having a go at goal, usually from distance, Cabaye has 2.5 shots per game.

Manchester City: David Silva

The Spaniard has had the most touches of any player in the Premier League so far, and looks to have attained a higher level of football. 4 assists in his first four games only speak part of his performances so far and he also impressed with Spain in the recent internationals.

Two shots per game indicate that he is a threat to goal as well, though he has found the net only once – at the Hawthorns on the opening day. But it’s really his creativity that makes City so threatening with the likes of Sterling and Aguero thriving on them. 3.3 key passes from 71 passes per game with a passing accuracy of almost 90% show how integral a part he is in the City side and will once again be the danger man at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

Prediction

City’s toughest game yet. 1-1 draw.