FA Cup Preview – Manchester City
The FA Cup returns to take centre stage once again as the fourth round of games take place this weekend.
After successes in the third round, Palace and City were paired in the draw and will take each other on at Selhurst Park. The last meeting between the two also took place in South London as the visitors won out but since then, City’s form has bee quite erratic.
Form has been hard to find for the Eagles since that home defeat to Guardiola’s side and even a managerial change has not yet had the desired effect. Perhaps the freedom of a cup tie will allow Palace to continue with the positive signs that they showed in the late defeat to Everton last weekend.
Once again, it will be difficult to predict quite how each of the two managers will aproach this tie in terms of personnel particuarly with an important Premier League full fixture list in the midweek that follows.
CRYSTAL PALACE – Wilfried Zaha and Bakary Sako may be available for selection after both returned from their exploits at the African Cup Of Nations. Jordon Mutch (knock), Connor Wickham (knee), Steve Mandanda (knee), Jonathan Benteke (knee) and Pape Souare (leg) all miss out. Jeffrey Schlupp (cramp) is expected to feature.
MANCHESTER CITY – Ilkay Gundogan (knee) is the only notable absence for Pep Guardiola.
The last time these two sides played each other was in the Premier League back in November. It was the first start for some time for Yaya Toure and that proved the difference as he gave City the lead just before the break. The Eagles found a way back into the game courtesy of Connor Wickham with a little over twenty minutes left on the clock only for Toure to pop up late on to score his and City’s second which secured all three points for the visitors.
Who Scored man of the match – Yaya Toure (8.4)
Last FIVE meetings between the two sides;
- 19/11/2016: Crystal Palace 1-2 Manchester City
- 16/01/2016: Manchester City 4-0 Crystal Palace
- 28/10/2015: Manchester City 5-1 Crystal Palace
- 12/09/2015: Crystal Palace 0-1 Manchester City
- 06/04/2015: Crystal Palace 2-1 Manchester City
Last FIVE results for Palace;
- 21/01/2017: Crystal Palace 0-1 Everton
- 17/01/2017: Crystal Palace 2-1 Bolton Wanderers
- 14/01/2017: West Ham United 3-0 Crystal Palace
- 07/01/2017: Bolton Wanderers 0-0 Crystal Palace
- 03/01/2017: Crystal Palace 1-2 Swansea City
Last FIVE results for City;
- 21/01/2017: Manchester City 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur
- 15/01/2017: Everton 4-0 Manchester City
- 06/01/2017: West Ham United 0-5 Manchester City
- 02/01/2017: Manchester City 2-1 Burnley
- 31/12/2016: Liverpool 1-0 Manchester City
FORM PLAYERS (courtesy of Who Scored)
Top two rated players from each team so far this season;
- Nicolas Otamendi 7.56
- Wilfried Zaha 7.51
- Kevin de Bruyne 7.46
- Christian Benteke 7.30
FA CUP FORM
Palace needed a replay to see off League 1 Bolton Wanderers to reach the fourth round while Manchester City convincingly saw off West Ham United at the London Stadium.
The two clubs have met three times previously in the FA Cup with City winning two and Palace one. The last time was in January 1981 where City hosted Palace and won 4-0.
Last season City reached the fifth round after seeing off Norwich City and Aston Villa but were beaten 5-1 by Chelsea.
ONE TO WATCH
The 21 year old joined City in August from Schalke 04 for a reported £37million. Schalke was where Sane made his professional debut back in 2014 after a sting in their youth set up. He had previously played for youth sides at SG Wattenscheid 09 and Bayer Leverkusen. The Essen born attacking midfielder has represented Germany at both under 19 and under 21 levels as well as four full international caps. Sane comes from a sporting background as his mother Regina Weber was a rhythmic gymnast for Germany while his father Souleymane Sane was a Senegalese international.
Final league position – 4th
It has not been the season so far that many expected for City particularly following the high profile appointment of Pep Guardiola. The former Spanish international midfielder is clearly finding the Premier League tougher than he expected but there is no doubt that he has the players at his disposal to finish in the top four. The way the top of the table is shaping up, fourth place could well be a straight between both Manchester clubs and Liverpool but there is a lot of football still to play.
- TEB prediction – home win
- Craig Perry’s prediction (see below) – away win
BETTING ODDS (courtesy of Paddy Power)
- Home – 5/1
- Draw – 10/3
- Away – 8/15
- Both teams to score – 4/6