Sunday, March 29, 2020

Prediction: Manchester City vs Crystal Palace

Verdict: Sergio Aguero to score 2+ goals

Best Odds: 7/4

Bookmaker: Bet365

Putting in a rampant display in the Midlands last weekend, Manchester City will welcome Crystal Palace to the Etihad on Saturday afternoon.

Manchester City

Starting with the hosts, putting in arguably a season-best display and putting six past Aston Villa on the road last weekend, Manchester City suddenly find themselves enjoying their brightest run of the season. While Pep Guardiola’s men might have long since surrendered their Premier League crown to Liverpool, the Sky Blues find themselves in the midst of a six-match winning run across all competitions and are enjoying what is a scintillating run of form in the final third. Bagging 13 goals in just their last three appearances, the former Barcelona boss has seen his side bag at least a pair of goals in each of their last 10 matchups. Also recording three first-half strikes at Old Trafford last week, one man who really stole in the Midlands was the red-hot Sergio Aguero. Bagging a hat-trick at Villa Park last time out, the 31-year-old marksman has found the net in each of his last three matches on the bounce.

Team News

After having to settle for a spot on the bench last weekend, England winger Raheem Sterling is likely to be recalled to City’s starting XI.

Minus long-term injury absentees Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane, Pep Guardiola has a full-strength squad available for selection.

Crystal Palace

As for the visitors, while Crystal Palace may have snatched a 1-1 draw off of an Arsenal side going through a transition last weekend, the Eagles still find themselves struggling to pick up maximum points. Also crashing out of the FA Cup thanks to a 1-0 defeat against Championship outfit Derby at Selhurst Park a fortnight ago, Roy Hodgson’s men have failed to win any of their last four matches across all formats, including three Premier League stalemates on the bounce. Despite still opening the weekend sat in the top half of the Premier League standings, the former England boss has seen his side continue to show some worrying issues outside of South London. Dropping points away at the likes of Norwich, Watford, and Southampton last month, Saturday’s guests have only recorded a sole victory on their travels since the 5th of October, a seven-match run.

Team News

The Eagles still have a whole host of players on the treatment table, though, with Andros Townsend, Jeffrey Schlupp, Joel Ward, Christian Benteke, Patrick van Aanholt, Mamadou Sakho, and Max Meyer all out.

Captain Luka Milivojevic will also be serving a suspension this weekend.

Key Factors to Consider

  • The last time Manchester City hosted Crystal Palace at the Etihad in December 2018, the Eagles picked up a stunning 3-2 victory.
  • However, since then, the Sky Blues have landed back-to-back victories over Palace, including a 2-0 win back in October.
  • Manchester City have won their last five matches on the bounce.
  • Saturday’s hosts have also scored 13 goals in their last three appearances across all competitions.
  • Sergio Aguero has scored in each of his last three appearances, including a hat-trick last weekend.

Conclusion

On paper, Manchester City should see Saturday as a golden opportunity to make yet another statement. Putting six past Aston Villa on the road last weekend, Pep Guardiola’s men have now bagged 13 goals in thier last three matchups on the bounce and find leading marksman Sergio Aguero enjoying what has been a stellar purple patch. Leaving the Midlands with the match ball last time out, we’re backing the 31-year-old to extend his scintillating run of form when he faces off against a Crystal Palace side who have continued to show some issues away from South London.

Verdict: Sergio Aguero to score 2+ goals

Best Odds: 7/4

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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