By 90Min
December 30, 2017

Sunday's early kick off will see the Premier League leaders Manchester City travel down south to face Roy Hodgson's Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, where the Eagles will attempt to become the first side to beat Pep Guardiola's juggernauts this season and end their staggering 18-game winning run in the process. 

The Eagles will go into the encounter as underdogs to say the least, although will be buoyed on by their efforts on Thursday night against Arsenal, a game in which they pushed the Gunners to the last. Unfortunately, the 3-2 loss meant that Palace's club record unbeaten run in the Premier League of eight games came to an end, and it will be interesting to see how Hodgson's men perform as the business end of the season approaches. 

Dan Istitene/GettyImages

Guardiola's men ran out 1-0 winners away to Newcastle last time out, with the slenderness of the margin being the only real surprise as Rafa Benitez's Magpies held firm and frustrated the Citizens; is their rampant attacking form being sussed out? 

Nevertheless, Palace will undoubtedly set up to again frustrate the table toppers, a sensible game plan despite being somewhat uninspiring. 

Here's everything you need to know about this Sunday's clash.

Classic Encounter

Crystal Palace 2-1 Manchester City (April 2015)


Crystal Palace don't beat Manchester City often nowadays. The Eagles have won just one of their last 15 meetings with the Citizens, a poor record to say the least, although the one victory was certainly one to remember for Palace fans. 

The defending champions rocked up to Selhurst Park in a complacent mood perhaps, an unprofessional mindset which they were quickly made to regret when Glenn Murray tapped home in the 34th minute. 

A backs to the wall performance looked to be the order of the day from then on, although when Jason Puncheon curled a stunning free kick over Joe Hart's wall into the bottom corner just three minutes after the restart, scenes of jubilation and disbelief swept through the ground. 

Yaya Toure thumped home in the 78th minute to ensure a nervy finish for the Eagles, but Alan Pardew's men held on to condemn Manuel Pellegrini's side to a fourth successive away defeat and all but crush any hopes the Citizens had of winning the league. 

Key Battle 

Raheem Sterling vs James Tomkins

PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

After years of criticism for his inconsistent displays, off field lifestyle and ill advised media interactions during his time at Liverpool, Raheem Sterling is silencing his doubters and making the footballing world sit up and take notice. 

The 23-year-old has always had the talent in his locker, but it is Pep Guardiola's direct coaching that is taking the England international's game to new levels. Sterling has hit 18 goals in 23 appearances so far this season, including a number of late winners for his side, making him arguably one of Guardiola's key components in his juggernaut side. 

A major factor in Sterling's end product is his consistency at getting inside the full back and popping up more centrally from the left side, meaning that Palace's James Tomkins will more than likely be the man directly facing the pacey forward. 

Not many have been able to stop Sterling this season, but if the former West Ham man can shackle the forward, Palace could snatch something from this ominous looking affair. 

Team News


Roy Hodgson stated in his post match presser against Arsenal that his thin squad will struggle with games against the Gunners and Manchester City in the space of three days, and suggested that some fringe players may get a run out against the champions elect. 

Palace are still without Mamadou Sakho, Joel Ward, Damien Delaney and Connor Wickham through injury, and may be without Yohan Cabaye for the visit of the table toppers after the Frenchman picked up a knock against Arsenal. 

For Manchester City, Guardiola will be without club captain Vincent Kompany after the Belgian was withdrawn after 10 minutes against Newcastle through injury. The league leaders are also without John Stones, Benjamin Mendy and Phil Foden, whilst Fabian Delph will require a late fitness test. 

Potential Crystal Palace Starting XI: Speroni, Kelly, Tomkins, Dann, Schlupp, Townsend, Milivojevic, McArthur, Loftus-Cheek, Benteke, Zaha

Potential Manchester City Starting XI: Ederson, Walker, Otamendi, Mangala, Danilo, De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Aguero, Sterling


Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

It's looking ominous for Palace isn't it? What on earth can Hodgson's men do that will halt a side on an 18-game winning run that others haven't tried and failed? 

Of course, anything can happen in football, and the Eagles will have watched the Citizens' game against Newcastle and studied how the Magpies frustrated Guardiola's side for large parts of the game. 

Palace were decent against Arsenal, but were also fairly leaky at the back and succumbed to Alexis Sanchez on more than one occasion; a truly world class player. 

Speaking of world class players, City have more of them than Arsenal do, something that doesn't bode well for a Palace side yet to keep a clean sheet at Selhurst Park in the league this season. 

Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-4 Manchester City

You May Like