Manchester City fell three points off the pace at the top of the Premier League table in midweek, and welcome Crystal Palace hoping to put the pressure back on Arsenal and Leicester.
City’s 0-0 draw with Everton on Wednesday was the first time they have failed to score in front of their own fans this season, but they piled on the goals last time Palace visited; Manuel Pellegrini’s side ran out 5-1 winners when the two met in the Capital One Cup in October.
Overall, City have won all but one of the seven Premier League meetings between these two teams, and need to keep that run going this weekend to avoid losing further ground on top spot.
The home team remain the top scorers in the league, with 39, but they have only scored twice in their last three league games. Kelechi Iheanacho will hope for some game time, as he has netted in both games against Palace this season, including the last-gasp winner in the reverse fixture at Selhurst Park in September.
Palace provided Aston Villa with their first win since the opening day in midweek, and Alan Pardew will be expecting a strong reaction from his players at the Etihad.
The loss at Villa Park extended the Eagles’ run without a win or a goal to four matches, a blip that has seen Pardew’s men slip out of the top six.
Their current barren run in front of goal is their longest in the top flight since 1998, and it is not being helped by the fact that only one striker – Connor Wickham – has notched for them this season. Palace also struggle to keep the goals out on their travels; they have kept just two clean sheets in their last 16 away fixtures.
The hosts received a blow this week with news that influential skipper Vincent Kompany may not return from his persistent calf injury until “the last part of the season.” He is far from the only absentee, with Wilfried Bony, Samir Nasri, Fernandinho and Eliaquim Mangala also out.
Yannick Bolasie remains sidelined for the visitors, who are also likely to be without Dwight Gayle. Fellow frontman Connor Wickham is set to return to the starting XI.
League Position: Manchester City – 3rd (40 pts); Crystal Palace – 8th (31 pts)
Last Meeting: Manchester City 5-1 Crystal Palace (October 28, 2015)
Form: Manchester City – WLWDWD; Crystal Palace – WWDDLL
Key Players: Manchester City – Yaya Toure; Crystal Palace – Yohan Cabaye
Shoot Says: Manchester City 3-1 Crystal Palace