FA Cup magic, potential squad rotation and some encouraging stats feature in our Crystal Palace v Man City talking points...
1 A switch in focus…
City turn their attentions to a competition which some predict provides the Blues’ best chance of silverware this season.
Pep Guardiola has spoken previously of his love of the ‘special’ FA Cup, and his side’s display in the previous round – a 5-0 thrashing at West Ham – demonstrated just how important it is to the Club.
It’s worth noting though that Palace will be in a similar situation: grateful of a break from Premier League pressures, having fallen into the relegation zone, and seeking a positive result to lift spirits.
This tie allows the opportunity of a much-needed boost for both sides. Who takes it, only time will tell…
Guardiola fielded a very strong starting XI in the third round, and insisted he has no intention of fielding a ‘weakened’ line-up this weekend.
He did reveal in his press conference that Willy Caballero will take his place between the sticks, while Vincent Kompany and Gabriel Jesus could be ready to start. May he also give some gametime to a few players who have not featured much in recent weeks?
Let’s remember: there isn’t much time between games, with another trip to the London Stadium on Wednesday night. In the last round, a nine-day period without a game would follow – this time, the Blues do not have that luxury.
We’ll discover more in terms of team news an hour before the game…
3 Crystal clear
Without tempting fate(!), City have an excellent recent record against the Eagles.
The Blues have won 11 of the last 12 meetings – five of those at Selhurst Park.
There have been three FA Cup encounters between the two sides in history, with City victorious in two – most notably, an 11-4(!) triumph in 1926.
There were many positives to take from Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham.
Although it was of course frustrating to have let a two-goal lead slip, few could argue City were deserving of all three points, producing one of their best performances of the season.
It was a strong response to the 4-0 loss at Everton; now, let’s see how they react to last weekend’s setback…