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Sky: 'Will 'Super Sunday' 2019 decide title race?'

DZEKO AT THE PALACE: Can history repeat itself?

DZEKO AT THE PALACE: Can history repeat itself?

Five years ago, one Sunday in April defined a title race between City and Liverpool.

Bizarrely, today throws up an almost identical situation with the same set of fixtures, begging the question: will lightning strike twice in the same place.

City will be hoping so…

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Sky Sports recall the date when the pendulum swung away from Anfield and firmly towards the Etihad with the only difference being the Blues play before the Reds on this occasion.

The fascinating feature reads: “There is a familiar feel to this weekend's Super Sunday as Manchester City travel to Crystal Palace before Liverpool host Chelsea in the Premier League.

“The same two fixtures were live on Sky five years ago - on April 27, to be precise - but played in reverse, with Liverpool, leading the way in the league table, up against Chelsea before City took on Palace.

 

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“As we now know, it proved to be the day City wrestled control from Liverpool before going on to claim a second league title in three years.

“This time around the margins remain fine as Pep Guardiola's side have a game in hand but trail Liverpool by two points.

“With only four minutes on the clock at Palace, a City side spurred on by the result at Anfield take the lead at Palace thanks to Edin Dzeko, who meets Yaya Toure's inch-perfect cross with a header which evades goalkeeper Julian Speroni.

“Then, towards the end of the first half, City go 2-0 up. The influential Toure, returning from injury, plays a one-two with Dzeko, and then another with Samir Nasri, before brushing off Damien Delaney and curling a beauty into the far top corner.

“City see out the match to win 2-0 at Palace and cap off an extraordinary four hours of Super Sunday drama. Just three points separate three sides, while, crucially, City have a game in hand over leaders Liverpool.

“City boss Manuel Pellegrini tells it how it is: ‘We must win the next three games. We are thinking about beating Everton next week. We must win all our games. That is important.’

You couldn’t have made up a scenario so similar – let’s hope it has an outcome to match…

Next up – and staying with Sky – Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha reckons City will be desperate to avenge the shock loss to the Eagles this afternoon, but says his team have a game plan…

It reads: “Having beaten Manchester City 3-2 at the Etihad in December, Palace will be looking to have another say in the title race when they host Pep Guardiola's side on Sunday.

“Zaha reckons City will be out for revenge but hopes Palace can "suffocate" them and claim another surprise win.

 

TOUGH DAY AT THE OFFICE: Last December's clash...

 

‘It should be a good game. They will want to get revenge after we beat them. I am looking forward to it like I look forward to every game.

‘You can't let City play. We are going into the game with loads of energy and suffocating them and then we do our best to break on them. Against any top team you need to take your chances and I feel that against them last time we took our chances and it kind of surprised them.

‘I feel that is the strategy going into games like that - you have to suffocate that and get around them and take opportunities when you get them.’

One thing seems certain – this is one of our toughest remaining fixtures…

Meanwhile, Keira Walsh says City are focusing on matters that can be controlled first and foremost.

 

FOCUSED: Keira Walsh

 

 

BBC Sport take up the story: “Manchester City are placing more focus on targeting the Women's FA Cup because the league title race is out of their hands, says midfielder Keira Walsh.

“City are second in the Women's Super League, a point behind leaders Arsenal, but the Gunners have a game in hand.

“Walsh's side host cup holders Chelsea in the semi-finals on Sunday (15:30 BST), as the two sides meet in the last four for the fourth time in five years.

“Reading host West Ham United in Sunday's first semi-final (12:30 BST)

“Both ties will be broadcast live on the BBC, as the teams battle for places in the final at Wembley on 4 May.

“Asked whether City - who won the League Cup in February - were thinking about a possible treble, Walsh told BBC Radio Manchester: ‘It's not something we're focusing on.

‘The league is in Arsenal's hands now. We have to wait for Arsenal to slip up and they're a top team so we're not holding out for that.

‘We're concentrating on what we can do. The FA Cup is the one we're all going to focus on at the minute. This is the trophy that we've spoken about trying to bring back to Manchester.

‘We've been at Wembley before and it's such a special occasion, so that's the one that the girls are really rooting for."

Finally, looking ahead to Wednesday’s crucial second leg with Tottenham and some early team news with Sky (again) providing the story…

“Mauricio Pochettino says he is unsure whether Dele Alli and Harry Winks will be able to recover from injury in time to face Manchester City on Wednesday.

 

ALL TO PLAY FOR: Let battle resume (this Wednesday...)

 

“Spurs travel to the Etihad Stadium to play City in their Champions League quarter-final second leg on Wednesday.

“Alli may miss the game after breaking his hand in the first leg on Tuesday, while Winks suffered a groin injury in training.

“Following Saturday's 4-0 victory over Huddersfield, Pochettino said of Alli: ‘We'll see because we are not sure.

‘He is doing some training sessions with protection. He needs to feel comfortable. It is a little bit painful because he broke his hand in two different places.

‘It all depends on time. We will see if we arrive in a position where he is comfortable to play. We'll see, today is difficult to know.’

That’s all for this morning, we’ll be back with reaction to today’s game on Monday morning…

Don’t miss our Champions League Quarter Final against Spurs on Wed 17 Apr, 8pm. From £40 Adults & £12.50 U18s. Limited tickets remaining – book your seats.

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