Reigning Premier League champions Manchester City will be looking to return to winning ways when they welcome Crystal Palace to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Citizens were involved in an entertaining six-goal thriller against Newcastle United last weekend, while the Eagles head into this contest after claiming back-to-back wins across the league and EFL Cup.
After seeing off both West Ham United and Bournemouth without conceding a goal in their opening two Premier League games, Man City had to fight back from 3-1 down against Newcastle last Sunday to draw 3-3 at St James’ Park.
The Magpies went into half time 2-1 ahead before former City academy graduate Kieran Trippier fired the hosts two goals in front after the break with a trademark free kick. However, two strikes within three second-half minutes from Erling Braut Haaland and Bernardo Silva restored parity for the reigning top-flight champions.
While Pep Guardiola will have been pleased to have seen his side rescue a point, the Spanish boss will feel that his team missed the chance to move further ahead of title challengers Liverpool, who are yet to win this term and suffered a 2-1 defeat away at Manchester United on Monday. Five points currently separate City from Jurgen Klopp‘s men, while the Citizens are now two points behind new league leaders Arsenal.
Since last weekend’s draw with Newcastle, City played out the same result in a charity friendly against Barcelona at Camp Nou on Wednesday in honour of former Barca goalkeeper and coach Juan Carlos Unzue, who has been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
Both sides had their star names on show, and it was Julian Alvarez, Cole Palmer and Riyad Mahrez who all got themselves on the scoresheet for the Citizens, with the latter netting a 99th-minute equaliser from the penalty spot.
City now turn their attention back to the Premier League and will welcome their return to the Etihad Stadium where they have won each of their last five top-flight games, scoring 20 goals in the process.
However, the Citizens will be wary of the threat that Palace are likely to pose, as the Eagles secured a surprise 2-0 win at the Etihad last season. Interestingly, City’s only two Premier League defeats in their last 54 matches to have kicked off a 3:00pm have come against Palace, including last season’s loss and a 3-2 defeat in December 2018.
Crystal Palace followed up their hard-earned 1-1 draw away at Liverpool with a 3-1 victory against Aston Villa at Selhurst Park last weekend.
After Ollie Watkins had put the visitors into an early lead, a brace from star man Wilfried Zaha – who has now netted three goals in as many league games – and a strike from Jean-Philippe Mateta helped the hosts turn the game on its head to secure their first top-flight win of the new campaign.
Patrick Vieira‘s men have since progressed from the second round of the EFL Cup after beating third-tier outfit Oxford United 2-0 away from home on Tuesday, with Odsonne Edouard and Luka Milivojevic both on the scoresheet in the final 20 minutes.
Palace lacked consistency last season, securing back-to-back victories across all competitions only four times in the 2021-22 campaign, but Vieira will be hoping that his side can put aside their patchy form and build on their positive momentum in the coming weeks.
A trip to the Etihad is viewed as a daunting prospect for many teams, but Palace have enjoyed success away at Man City in recent years, claiming seven points from their last four Premier League visits.
The Eagles were one of only four teams who City failed to beat in the Premier League last season and they were the only top-flight side who the champions failed to score against in 2021-22.
Palace, who currently sit ninth in the table and three points behind City in second, could become only the second team, after Man United, to win three away league matches against Citizens manager Pep Guardiola if they come out on top again this weekend.
A friendly fixture three games into the new season would not have been ideal for Man City, and they would have hoped to have come away from the match unscathed. However, Kalvin Phillips and Luke Mbete both sustained injuries at Camp Nou, with the latter stretchered off wearing a neck brace following a nasty collision.
Aymeric Laporte remains sidelined after undergoing knee surgery over the summer, while Jack Grealish (ligament) and Nathan Ake (groin) are both doubtful and will be assessed ahead of kickoff.
Guardiola is expected to revert back to a similar lineup to the one which started against Newcastle, with the likes of Haaland, Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri and Ederson all set to start.
Ruben Dias, who replaced Ake in the first half against the Magpies last weekend, is set to be recalled at centre-back, joining John Stones, Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo in the back four.
As for Crystal Palace, Vieira made nine changes to his starting lineup for their EFL Cup clash against Oxford and he will likely revert back to the side which came out on top against Aston Villa.
Centre-back Marc Guehi was one of only two players to retain their spot in midweek and he is set to be joined in defence by Joel Ward, Joachim Andersen and Tyrick Mitchell.
Edouard was the other who kept his place in Vieira’s side, although his position in attack could be under threat by Mateta, while Jordan Ayew and Zaha are set to be recalled.
Eberechi Eze, who has been involved in six goals in his last eight Premier League starts away from home, is expected to operate in centre-midfield alongside Jeffery Schlupp and summer signing Cheick Doucoure.
On the injury front, James McArthur is doubtful with a groin problem, while James Tomkins (calf), Jack Butland (broken wrist) and Nathan Ferguson (foot) all remain sidelined for the visitors.
Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Cancelo; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Bernardo, Haaland, Foden
Crystal Palace possible starting lineup:
Guaita; Ward, Anderson, Guehi, Mitchell; Schlupp, Doucoure, Eze; Ayew, Edouard, Zaha