Preview: Crystal Palace v Man City

Crystal Palace will be aiming to bounce back immediately from their recent defeat when they host unbeaten Premier League leaders Manchester City on Sunday.

Premier League
Date: 31 December 2017
Match Day 21
Kick-off: 14H00 local time
Venue: Selhurst Park
Referee: J. Moss
Assistants: E. Smart, A. Halliday
Fourth official: S. Attwell

Head-to-head summary: 

TEAM              MATCHES  WIN   DRAW   LOSS

Crystal Palace        42         10        9           23       
Manchester City     42         23        9          10  

Previous encounter: 

Manchester City 5-0 Crystal Palace 23/09/17 (Premier League)

Manchester City goalscorers: L. Sane (44'), R. Sterling (51', 59'), S. Aguero (79'), F. Delph (89')

Players to watch: 

The hosts will be hoping that striker Christian Benteke finds some form against City, having scored only once so far this season. The creative flair, however, is likely to come from winger Wilfried Zaha, who has four goals and two assists to his name in all competitions.

Raheem Sterling's stock has risen dramatically at City over the last few weeks. The Englishman has scored four goals in his last three games, including a brace against Tottenham. He now boasts 13 goals in 18 Premier League appearances this campaign.

Team form and manager quotes: 

The Eagles lost 3-2 against Arsenal at Selhurst Park on Thursday, when a four-minute brace from Alexis Sanchez secured victory for the Gunners after Shkodran Mustafi put them ahead early on. 

However, Andros Townsend and James Tomkins both scored for Palace and will give Roy Hodgson's men a boost of confidence ahead of a tough clash with the Sky Blues. The defeat was Palace's first in nine league games.

Speaking after the defeat to Arsenal, Hodgson said, as quoted by Sky Sports: "We need to keep on fighting and doing the right things and it's good for me to know that even when the team is 3-1 down against a side of Arsenal's quality there is no question of resignation or not continuing to do the right things and work very hard. 

"Maybe today if the game had been five or six minutes longer we could have gone close to getting the equaliser."

Meanwhile, the Citizens have continued to rack up the victories in the Premier League. They are now on an 18-game winning streak and have consequently opened up a 15-point lead at the top of the table, with Manchester United in second.

Pep Guardiola's charges come into the game having beaten Newcastle United 1-0 thanks to Raheem Sterling's winning strike. They have also scored a staggering 13 goals in their last four games and are expected to give Palace a stern test at home.

“As a manager, I have to adapt my team. We have played against teams who have done high pressing, low pressing, counter attacks, just set pieces, just like Tottenham who tried to go forward and attack," Guardiola revealed, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News.

“And in all of them we have been able to beat them. The magnificent thing about football and any manager of any team is they can play anyway, teams can try to trick you, but you have to be able to beat them and until now we have been able to do that.

“Until now, we have found a way to win yeah.”

Team news: 

Crystal Palace striker Connor Wickham is close to recovering from a long-term injury but remains a doubt for the clash.

Vincent Kompany is a doubt for City after being replaced in the 11th minute of the 1-0 win over Newcastle on Wednesday, while Gabriel Jesus could start instead of Sergio Aguero.

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