Manchester City will look to extend their unbeaten run to six games in all competitions when they host Crystal Palace in the League Cup on Wednesday.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side have recovered from a shaky September that saw them suffer three defeats to put an impressive streak of results together, only dropping points in a 0-0 Manchester derby draw on Sunday.
Although that game finished goalless at Old Trafford, Pellegrini was still able to find some positives after watching his side keep a clean sheet for the first time since their last meeting with Palace in September.
With Sergio Aguero and David Silva still missing through injury, City will again look to Wilfried Bony to provide the firepower, as the Ivorian looks to add to his two goals in all competitions this season.
Both of those strikes came in one game – against Bournemouth – and the striker has struggled to have the impact at City that saw him thrive at Swansea City last season.
Bony failed to impress against Manchester United and Pellegrini may opt to give youngster Kelechi Iheanacho his first City start – the 19-year-old having impressed in his cameo appearances from the substitutes bench.
Iheanacho may not be the only youngster handed some vital first-team experience at the Etihad Stadium, with Pellegrini having given Manu Garcia and Patrick Roberts outings in the previous round of the League Cup.
Garcia may get his chance in place of the injured Silva, while Pellegrini will need to make a change in central midfield after Fernandinho picked up his fifth booking of the season against United – earning him a one-game ban.
Palace arrive in Manchester after two disappointing defeats in the league against West Ham and Leicester City, the loss at the King Power Stadium on Saturday was particularly frustrating for Alan Pardew, who saw a penalty appeal waved away by referee Mike Dean.
The Palace manager hopes to see a reaction from his side on Wednesday, in order to get their season back on track before league matches with Manchester United and Liverpool.
“It makes a difference to bounce back now,” Pardew told the Croydon Advertiser.
“We have a big cup game to look forward to and also for our travelling fans, because they would be frustrated and disappointed like I am.
“Hopefully we can get them a win on the road [against City].”
Pardew has previous history when it comes to knocking City out at this stage of the competition, having plotted their downfall 12 months ago, when he was still in charge of Newcastle United.
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