Men's Team

Aguero returns as City make eight changes for trip to Palace

Aguero returns as City make eight changes for trip to Palace
City make eight changes for today’s Premier League trip to tackle Crystal Palace.

Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus and Nathan Ake are amongst those making a return to action as Pep Guardiola rotates once more with the games continuing to come thick and fast.

It’s Aguero’s first start since our league win at Leicester early last month.

Alongside Aguero, Ake and Jesus, also returning to the starting eleven are Ayermic Laporte, Benjamin Mendy, skipper Fernandinho, Raheem Sterling and Ferran Torres.

Goalkeeper Ederson, defender Joao Cancelo and midfielder Rodrigo are the trio to retain their places from the side that secured a superb 2-1 win at Paris Saint-Germain in last Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final.

Team news:

CRYSTAL PALACE: Guaita (GK), Ward, Kouyaté, Dann, Mitchell, Riedewald, Milivojevic, Zaha, Eze, Townsend, Benteke.

SUBS: Butland (GK), Van Aanholt, Ayew, Mateta, Schlupp, McCarthy, Batshuayi, Cahill, Kelly.

CITY: Ederson, Cancelo, Laporte, Ake, Mendy, Fernandinho ©, Rodrigo, Sterling, Torres, Aguero, Jesus

SUBS: Steffen, Walker, Dias, Gundogan, Zinchenko, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Mahrez, Foden

WATCH: Guardiola heaps praise on ‘fantastic’ Walker

Formation

It looks as though Guardiola could well alter from his usual 4-3-3 formation at Selhurst Park.

It's expected that the boss will opt to deploy a 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1 line up but as ever with a Pep Guardiola formation, expect fluidity in forward areas

Goalkeeper Ederson will be protected by the back four of Cancelo, Ake, Laporte and Mendy.

Skipper Fernandinho will occupy the holding midfield role with Rodrigo likely to be alongside offering protection.

Ferran Torres and Raheem Sterling are set to offer us width on either flank with the forward thrust provided by Aguero and Jesus.

However, we’ll have to wait until kick-off to see exactly how we shape up. The beauty of City though is that whatever formation we adopt, the players have the technical quality to shine.

Pivotal weekend?

With a marathon season now entering the final month of May, this could prove a decisive weekend in terms of the Premier League title race.

City are currently 10 points clear at the top of the table with five games to go and need five more points to mathematically be sure of regaining the title.

English Premier League
1 Manchester City Man City 34 25 5 4 71 24 47 80 WWLWW
2 Manchester United Man United 33 19 10 4 64 35 29 67 WWWWD
3 Leicester City Leicester 34 19 6 9 61 39 22 63 LLWWD

However, should we win at Selhurst Park and second-placed Manchester United then lose at home to Liverpool tomorrow then we would officially be crowned champions.

It’s all ifs and buts for now – but there is no mistaking that there is an extra frisson of excitement as we enter the May Bank Holiday weekend.

Stats and facts

Head-to-head

Crystal Palace have lost 13 of the past 17 Premier League meetings, failing to score on 10 occasions (W2, D2).

Manchester City's most recent defeat at Selhurst Park was by 2-1 on 6 April 2015.

We are unbeaten in their subsequent six matches there, including five Premier League fixtures (W5, D1).

Crystal Palace

The Eagles could lose three consecutive league games for the first time this season - this is the sixth occasion they have suffered back-to-back top-flight defeats in the current campaign.

Crystal Palace have won just two of their 23 Premier League matches against sides at the top of the table (D4, L17), with both of those victories coming against Chelsea.

Roy Hodgson's side have conceded 25 top-flight home goals this season, a total exceeded only by Newcastle and West Brom.

Hodgson has never won a Premier League home game against Manchester City as a manager (D3, L3), though he has won three away fixtures against them.

Wilfried Zaha's total of 10 league goals equals his highest figure in a single season, set in 2018-19.
Zaha has failed to score in all 12 of his league and cup appearances against Manchester City.

Manchester City

Manchester City have scored a league-high 32 goals away from home this season.

We have won 10 Premier League away matches in a row, scoring 26 goals and conceding just four and can equal the Premier League record of 11 straight away wins, jointly held by Chelsea and City themselves after their respective runs between April-December 2008 and May-December 2017.

In all competitions, we have won 18 successive away fixtures (this excludes cup ties at Wembley, since it is a neutral venue).

Raheem Sterling has scored six goals in his past seven league starts against Crystal Palace.

Gabriel Jesus has 49 goals in 126 Premier League appearances. He could become just the second Brazilian to reach 50 in the competition, emulating Roberto Firmino.

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