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Crystal Palace looked capable of springing a surprise at the home of top-four contenders Leicester last time out, as a 12th-minute Wilfried Zaha goal propelled Roy Hodgson‘s men into the ascendancy after a swift counter-attack.
Despite boasting a 1-0 lead as the half-time whistle blew, Palace soon fell victim to two almost identical goals from Timothy Castagne and Kelechi Iheanacho, as both men produced left-footed thunderbolts to complete the Foxes comeback and leave Palace’s top-10 hopes in jeopardy.
Even though the 13th-placed Eagles are not mathematically safe just yet, they are 11 clear of the dropzone with a game in hand on the bottom three, so their Premier League status is all but assured and Hodgson will simply want his players to give a good account of themselves before the season concludes.
However, Palace can boast just one win from their last seven Premier League matches, and having faced Everton, Chelsea and Leicester in recent weeks, the fixtures do not get any easier after Man City pay a visit, as Arsenal and Liverpool lie in wait in the final two weekends of the campaign.
While the Eagles have managed to keep three clean sheets in their last four home matches, only West Bromwich Albion (33) and Newcastle United (27) have conceded more goals on familiar territory than Palace (25) this season, so City can certainly aspire to replicate Liverpool’s seven-goal showing as they attempt to prise the title off the Reds.
James McArthur, James Tomkins, Mamadou Sakho, Connor Wickham and Nathan Ferguson are all ruled out for Palace, but Gary Cahill may be fit enough to feature.
City will be without the suspended John Stones but otherwise Guardiola has his pick of players for this one, and may rotate heavily ahead of the Champions League semi-final second leg on Tuesday
Wednesday’s 2-1 comeback victory at Paris Saint-Germain was actually the tenth match in a row where Guardiola’s side have scored two or fewer goals, and also the sixth time in seven games they have conceded.
The Eagles are meandering through the final few games of the season but having scored against Chelsea, Tottenham and Leicester City in recent matches, still have enough attacking prowess to do some damage.