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Media Watch: Hodgson predicts more title twists

Our Christmas Eve media watch carries a positive message to City from Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson and high praise for us from Eagles star Andros Townsend

The Blues, of course, will be looking to atone for Saturday’s surprise 3-2 defeat at home to Crystal Palace when we resume Premier League action on Boxing Day away at Leicester.

And speaking to the Daily Mail, Eagles boss Roy Hodgson said he believed that current leaders Liverpool will also suffer a surprise loss over the course of a marathon league season.

Kate McGreavy writes: “Palace’s victory at the Etihad saw Liverpool, who Hodgson managed the Reds between 2010 and 2011, remain four points clear at the summit of the table following their 2-0 win over Wolves on Friday. 

“I don't think Pep Guardiola will be too concerned about a four-point gap with 20 games left to play,' he said.

“'One of those is going to be against Liverpool, but even without that game the chances are that Liverpool will go somewhere and something like this will happen. 

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“'Someone will beat them against the odds, there is a long way to go yet and there will be an upset somewhere along the line.

“'I am sure the only disappointment for Pep will be having so much of the ball and being able to buzz around our final third as much as they were able to do without creating as many chances as they would have liked.”

For his part, Eagles star Andros Townsend, who scored a spectacular goal at the Etihad in Palace’s win, was still full of praise for the Blues when speaking to the BBC.

The Beeb reported: “Manchester City are "probably the team of our generation" said Crystal Palace's Andros Townsend after his brilliant volley dented their Premier League title hopes on Saturday.

“Townsend hit a stunning 30-yard strike as Palace won 3-2 to leave the champions four points off Liverpool.

"City earned a record 100 points as they won the title last season.

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"I have never played against a team as good as them, especially at home," said Townsend.

"It is impossible to get the ball off them."

Though there is plenty of attention focused on Liverpool’s trip to the Etihad on January 3, before then the Blues face two crucial away games at Leicester and Southampton.

And despite being tough propositions, the Manchester Evening News’s Tyrone Marshall believes  the two games offer City the perfect platform to show our real quality.

Marshall scribes: “City's trips to the King Power Stadium and St Mary's now look much tougher propositions, especially with Liverpool waiting at the start of the New Year.

“But rather than cursing their luck City will be focusing on a revival. The defeat to Palace has fired a warning shot across their bows and it would be no surprise if they took their anger out on their upcoming opponents.

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“Puel has already hinted that Leicester will play a similar 4-5-1 system on Boxing Day that they used last week, giving Guardiola a second chance to get the better of it, while the Saints will have a day less to prepare for the December 30 clash than City, which could be key given the glut of games at this time of year.

“Hasenhuttl has reportedly been working his players hard since he took over from Hughes, with lengthy video sessions and long days of training, but that could catch up with his squad over Christmas.

“If City can come through those two tough tests on the road with two victories then it will set them up well to finish the festive season with an almighty bang against their title rivals, who might just start feeling the pressure now they have a four point advantage to hold on to.

“The festive period can so often be crucial in title races and it could be a huge nine days for City from Boxing Day to January 3. If they emerge with nine points from Leicester, Southampton and Liverpool then Guardiola's side will be in the box seat to defend their Premier League crown.”

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