To be played on Sunday 27th April 2014 at 16:10. Venue: Selhurst Park, London.
Odds: Crystal Palace 7/1, Draw 19/5, Manchester City 5/11
Last season: N/A
Preview & injury news
This has all the hallmarks of being a bit of a banana skin for Manchester City as they look to keep up the pressure at the top of the table. City sit six points behind league leaders Liverpool in third place with a game in hand but they face a Crystal Palace side that has won each of their last five games - so they are in very good form. If they make it six on the bounce it could leave City's title challenge in tatters, depending on the result between Liverpool and Chelsea earlier on in the day.
Palace's turnaround this season has prompted many fans, commentators and pundits to throw their weight behind Tony Pulis for the manager of the year gong having arrived at the club when it looked as if they would hobble to relegation, but if they win this weekend they could find themselves as high as ninth in the Premier League.
On the injury front, the only real injury worry appears to be forward Marouane Chamakh who has a knock but other than that, Tony Pulis's side has a clean bill of health.
For Manchester City, there are doubts over the fitness of Yaya Toure who limped off in the defeat to Liverpool with a groin problem. David Silva suffered an ankle injury in the 3-1 win over West Bromwich Albion last Monday whilst Jesus Navas has an ankle problem and is likely to miss out. Matija Nastasic is still sidelined with a knee injury.
Here are the top scorers in the Premier League from the two teams this season:
|Yaya Touré||Man City||MF||18||31||2,619|
|Sergio Agüero||Man City||FW||16||20||1,342|
|Edin Dzeko||Man City||FW||11||27||1,658|
|Marouane Chamakh||Crystal Palace||FW||5||29||2,094|
|Dwight Gayle||Crystal Palace||FW||3||20||746|
Their average possession statistics:
And the amount of clean sheets they have kept so far this season:
5 players to watch
Jason Puncheon - Puncheon has been one of the star performers in the Crystal Palace side in the revival under Tony Pulis, by being one of the Eagles' biggest attacking threats. Can he continue his good form this weekend which may result in leaving the visitors' title chances in tatters?
James Milner - With doubts over the fitness of Yaya Toure, and David Silva ruled out of the trip to Selhurst Park, Milner may be required to play a crucial, more central attacking role as City try and keep up the pressure up on Liverpool at the top. Milner has shown he has plenty of craft as well as a good football brain, and can open up a solid defence.
Joe Ledley - Ledley joined in the January transfer window has provided a good deal of energy and intelligence to the Palace midfield. He's a pretty good passer of the ball as well and if he has a good game then City could be in for a difficult afternoon.
Samir Nasri - With a couple of high profile midfielders absent, there may be a lot more responsibility on the shoulders of the Frenchman to come up with the key pass to open up the stern Palace defence, and to find the net himself. Will Nasri step up to the mark?
Mile Jedinak - Jedinak is another midfielder who is a handful for sides to face as he is very good at breaking up the play, and has a good range of passing. If City get caught out on the counter-attack, Jedinak's quick thinking and passing range could be a deciding factor.
Earlier on in the season
Manchester City 1-0 Crystal Palace, December 2013
It looked as though it could have been a frustrating afternoon for City at the Etihad Stadium as Palace thwarted them until the midway point of the second half. The home side's goalkeeper Joe Hart suffered a cut to his eye but played on, and the visitors threatened with a couple of opportunities. But they didn't take them, and the only person on the field that did was City's Edin Dzeko, as he turned in a Jesus Navas cross to break the Eagles' resistance. The result meant City kept up the pressure on Arsenal at the top of the table, whilst Palace were sitting above the drop zone on goal difference.