The final game of 2017 is upon us and there is no tougher match up at the moment than having to face champions elect Manchester City at Selhurst Park.
The visitors will be looking to equal the record winning run in Europe’s top five leagues which is currently help by Pep Guardiola’s former club Bayern Munich who he coached to 19 consecutive wins in the 2013-14 season.
They made hard work of their previous win at Newcastle and they are likely to face similar stubbornness in South London with the Eagles now far better set up under the stewardship of Roy Hodgson.
It is likely that City will bring in fresh legs to face Palace in an effort to combat the pace, trickery and power that the hosts can offer on their day. The form guide does not favour the Eagles however as the team from the blue side of Manchester have won ten of their last eleven against Palace and will be favourites for this one ahead of kick off.
With the eight game unbeaten run ended at the hands of the Gunners on Thursday, Roy Hodgson will be well aware of fatigue setting into his set of players having narrowed his selection policy since he joined the club. The likes of Yohan Cabaye and Ruben Loftus-Cheek in particular look jaded in the midweek home defeat while Wilfried Zaha is one booking away from a suspension so it will be interesting what decisions the Palace boss makes for this fixture.
TEAM NEWS (courtesy of Physio Room)
CRYSTAL PALACE – Yohan Cabaye (knock) faces a late fitness test while Joel Ward (groin) is a major doubt. Mamadou Sakho (groin), Damian Delaney (surgery) and Connor Wickham (knee) continue to miss out.
MANCHESTER CITY – Vincent Kompany (calf), Phil Foden (ankle), John Stones (hamstring) and Benjamin Mendy (knee) are all unavailable while Fabian Delph (muscle) will face a late fitness test.
The last time these two sides met at Selhurst Park was back in January with the visitors running out 3-0 winners. Raheem Sterling opened the scoring just before the break and Leroy Sane doubled their advantage with a little under twenty minutes remaining. Yaya Toure secured the win with City’s third in the last minute.
Last FIVE meetings between the two sides;
- 23/09/2017 Manchester City 5-0 Crystal Palace
- 06/05/2017 Manchester City 5-0 Crystal Palace
- 28/01/2017 Crystal Palace 0-3 Manchester City
- 19/11/2016 Crystal Palace 1-2 Manchester City
- 16/01/2016 Manchester City 4-0 Crystal Palace
Last FIVE results for Palace;
- 28/12/2017 Crystal Palace 2-3 Arsenal
- 23/12/2017 Swansea City 1-1 Crystal Palace
- 16/12/2017 Leicester City 0-3 Crystal Palace
- 12/12/2017 Crystal Palace 2-1 Watford
- 09/12/2017 Crystal Palace 2-2 Bournemouth
Last FIVE results for City;
- 27/12/2017 Newcastle United 0-1 Manchester City
- 23/12/2017 Manchester City 4-0 Bournemouth
- 19/12/2017 Leicester City 1-1 Manchester City
- 16/12/2017 Manchester City 4-1 Tottenham Hotspur
- 13/12/2017 Swansea City 0-4 Manchester City
FORM PLAYERS (courtesy of Who Scored)
Top two rated players from each team so far this season;
- Kevin de Bruyne 7.97
- Sergio Aguero 7.80
- Wilfried Zaha 7.25
- James Tomkins 7.18
ONE TO WATCH
EDERSON SANTANA DE MORAES
Former clubs – Sao Paulo, Benfica, Ribeirao, Rio Ave, Benfica
Born in Osasco, Brazil, Ederson joined the youth academy at his home town club Sao Paulo in 2008 but never made a first team appearance before joining Benfica in 2009. Still looking to make his professional debut, he moved to Portuguese side Ribeirao in 2011 where he made 29 appearances. Rio Ave signed the six foot two inch goalkeeper in 2012. After 37 appearances he returned to Benfica which is where he caught the eye of Manchester City for whom he signed in the summer for £35million, the second highest transfer fee for a goalkeeper behind the legendary Gianluigi Buffon.
Final league position – 1st
If it wasn’t for the relegation and European qualification spots, we could all pack in this season and go home. It sounds crazy to say that even before the year is out but City have been so good and so dominating that there appears to be very little in the way of a chink in their armour. They must have an off day at some point, right? Even if they do, it is very unlikely to have an effect on their march to the title. Well, not so much a march, more a procession.
- TEB prediction – draw
- Richard Burns’ prediction (see link below) – away win
- Who Scored prediction – away win
BETTING ODDS (courtesy of Paddy Power)
- Home – 11/1
- Draw – 11/2
- Away – 2/9
- Both teams to score – 8/11