As the season prepares for a dramatic finale, Manchester City will face yet another must-win game against Crystal Palace, with both teams having everything at stake in this game. After failing to win any silverware this season, losing out on the Champions League spot will be the last thing Guardiola would want.
Playmaker David Silva will continue to miss the games with his knee injury that he incurred during the FA Cup semi-final game against Arsenal. Same goes for Pep Guardiola’s favourite John Stones. The young centre-half is now out since mid-April with a muscle injury and could see the end of the season suffering with it.
The other important player to miss the game could be injury-retuned Fabian Delph. The midfielder picked up a knock at the Riverside Stadium last week and could be an absentee in this game. Sergio Aguero has a very slight chance of missing out with a groin injury.
A big boost for Guardiola will, however, be the return of Yaya Toure. The Ivory Coast international manages a huge responsibility of City’s flow in the midfield. Apart from them, Claudio Bravo and Ilkay Gundogan remain out for the season.
The gravest concern for Sam Allardyce would be his limited resources at the back. With their best player, Mamadou Sakho, pretty much done for the season with a knee injury, the former England manager desperately needs experienced individuals at the heart of the defence.
Instead, he is in fear of missing out on the reliable James Tomkins at the back line along with skipper Scott Dann and midfielder Yohan Cabaye, who are also expected to miss this game. Connor Wickham is also expected to stay sidelined while in-form Andros Townsend will have to pass a late fitness test to start this game.
Manchester City- Caballero; Zabaleta, Kompany, Otamendi, Clichy; Fernandinho, Toure; De Bruyne, Sane, Sterling; Jesus
Crystal Palace- Hennessey; Ward, Kelly, Delaney, Van Aanholt; Milivojevic, McArthur; Zaha, Puncheon, Townsend; Benteke
Manchester City: With Gabriel Jesus back in the squad, there is always a chance he will tick the scoresheet with his vibrant movement in the attacking third. He was their saviour in the last game against Middlesbrough too. Apart from him, Kevin de Bruyne will bring his finishing prowess from a midfield role. Yaya Toure alongside Fernandinho also gives City that extra edge in the midfield.
Crystal Palace: The two wingers, Wilfred Zaha and Andros Townsend, will be the biggest threat to City’s defence going into the fixture. City have not been very confident at the back, and this could create problems. Palace’s top scorer, Christian Benteke has also been a threat with his aerial dominance and urgency in the opponent’s D-box and needs to be kept quite.
Manchester City: @ 1.25
Crystal Palace: 12.00
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