HomePREMIER LEAGUEManchester City braces for tough Crystal Palace test in their Premier League...

Manchester City braces for tough Crystal Palace test in their Premier League title chase

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Manchester City brace for tough Crystal Palace test in their Premier League title chase

Pep Guardiola, the coach of Manchester City, will need to address the long-standing challenge posed by Crystal Palace as his team prepares to face them. Historically, the matches between these two teams have held greater significance compared to other games in the league.

If Manchester City were to lose to Crystal Palace on Saturday, it would hurt their chances of winning the Premier League title, but they would still have many opportunities to bounce back. However, if they lose to RB Leipzig at home on Tuesday, their hopes of advancing in the Champions League will be dashed.

While there’s no reason why Pep Guardiola can’t play the same players for both games, he’s known for adjusting his line-ups based on the opposition and also understands that the Champions League carries greater consequences. Even planning to play the same starting XI for both matches poses a risk due to unforeseen circumstances at Selhurst Park. However, Guardiola’s career has been defined by taking calculated risks.

In the 2018/19 season, Guardiola faced a similar decision where he anticipated his star players would struggle to perform in a congested fixture schedule. He opted to field a weaker side in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final rather than the Premier League. City ended up winning against Crystal Palace and went on to edge out Liverpool for the league title by a single point. However, they couldn’t overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit against Tottenham in a painful exit from the competition.

The team line-up an hour before the game on Saturday will provide more clarity on Guardiola’s priorities.

Crystal Palace has been a tough opponent for Manchester City in recent years, and their matches have often been significant. Despite Guardiola hoping to downplay the importance of this match and focus on catching Arsenal, there is usually at least one noteworthy event that arises from their games. Notably, City is in good form, having been unbeaten in their last seven games across all competitions, while Palace is struggling, having only gained five points in their last nine league games.

Foden has been a key player for City in recent weeks, providing a different kind of attacking threat from both wings. As long as he is fit, he is likely to start again and help City secure a good result. This would leave only one spot in the team for either Jack Grealish or Riyad Mahrez, meaning one of them may miss out.

Manchester City brace for tough Crystal Palace test in their Premier League title chase

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