Vincent Kompany is expecting nothing less than a well-organised and disciplined Crystal Palace side at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
The Eagles looked destined for a long and miserable campaign at one point, but new manager Tony Pulis has quickly improved the Eagles’ fortunes since taking the Selhurst Park hot-seat just over a month ago.
With four wins in seven games – plus four clean sheets – the South Londoners have moved out of the bottom three and the City skipper knows his team will need to work hard to preserve the 100% home record at the Etihad this season.
“Playing Liverpool on Boxing Day and then Crystal Palace again 48 hours later brings different challenges and there is a lot to take account of,” warned Kompany.
“As much as we would like to call ourselves favourites there will be fatigue and being the festive period, the games come thick and fast and there have already been one or two surprise results.
We will prepare correctly, re-focus and try to make sure we are not on the wrong end of one of those surprise results
Kompany admitted he has respect for Palace’s new manager and is expecting a similar test to previous battles with the former Stoke boss’ teams.
The Blues traditionally did well against Pulis’ Potters at home, but struggled in the corresponding fixtures, so the Belgian knows the Palace game will have its own challenges, despite their current position in the table.
“Tony Pulis has done really well since taking over and my experience is that his teams are really organised and difficult to beat,” he said. “But this is a home game for us and we should feel really confident of whoever we face on our own ground given the record we have at the Etihad this season.”