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Why Iheanacho loves playing Palace

EVERY 38 MINUTES: Kelechi scores or makes a goal v Palace

EVERY 38 MINUTES: Kelechi scores or makes a goal v Palace

With two goals and two assists in just 150 minutes of football, no wonder Kelechi Iheanacho loves playing Crystal Palace.

Whether the Nigerian youngster gets the nod to start against the Eagles on Saturday is another thing, but the South Londoners could be forgiven for hoping he starts on the bench – and stays there!

It was against Palace that Iheanacho first burst on to the Premier League scene in August of last year, replacing Wilfried Bony on 89 minutes and then scoring the only goal of the game 54 seconds later.

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Then 18, it was only his second appearance having grabbed four minutes off the bench in a 2-0 win over Watford.

Kelechi returned to torment Palace in the League Cup a couple of months later, scoring another goal and making two more in an emphatic 5-1 win over Alan Pardew’s side as he banked a full 90 minutes under his belt.

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He started the Premier League return fixture at the Etihad last January and played for 57 minutes before being replaced by Yaya Toure as City won 4-0.

Speaking of his record against the Eagles, Kelechi said: “They are very strong and have very good wingers so they will believe they can win this game.

“We have to be careful, respect them and expect this to be a very difficult match.

“Crystal Palace will always be a special game for me because I scored my first goal against them and if I play on Saturday, I hope to score another against them.”

Iheanacho, who returned from duty with Nigeria earlier this week, has bagged 18 goals from just 16 starts in all competitions – an incredible record - and has appeared as a sub on 31 occasions.

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He also has 11 goals from 10 Premier League starts as well as four in seven matches for Nigeria - it seems the one thing that is guaranteed is that there will be plenty more goals to come from the youngster in the coming years.

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