Manchester City v Crystal Palace
Saturday, 12:30
Live on Sky Sports 1

Manchester City

If Pep Guardiola was expecting his side to kick on after the derby stalemate against Manchester United, he must have been disappointed last weekend. For City could only manage a disappointing 2-2 draw with against struggling Middlesbrough - a result that means the Citzens' top-four hopes are still very much up in the air
The good news for Guardiola is that three of City's last four Premier League matches - the next three, in fact - are all at the Etihad. All look winnable, too, with Leicester and West Brom arriving after this game. If they fail to make it over the line, they will only have themselves to blame.

David Silva has returned to training, so could be fit to lend some much-needed fluency to the midfield. But there's still no word, at time of writing, over Sergio Aguero's fitness. He is believed to have picked up a groin injury at the end of a lively display at the Riverside and would be a big miss on current form, even if Gabriel Jesus has made a timely return to the fray.

Crystal Palace

It is testament to the work done by Sam Allardyce that Palace are barely in the relegation conversation with three games of the season to go. That would have been unthinkable a few months ago, so there's plenty of reason for Eagles fans to be cheerful.

The last couple of games, though, have been fairly underwhelming. Palace were not able to contain Tottenham at Selhurst Park and then put in a poor performance against Burnley, losing to a team that had not won away from home all season. In that latter defeat especially, a few of Allardyce's players looked worn out and ready for a break.

Scott Dann and Mamadou Sakho are both still sidelined, but there is more positive news further forward: Yohan Cabaye could be ready to come back into the side after missing the Burnley match. James McArthur would be the player most likely to make way for the Frenchman.

Match Odds

City's have a great recent record against Palace. They have won eight of the last nine Premier League meetings between the sides and have yet to drop a point to the Eagles at the Etihad. Odds of 1.27 on the home win don't provide much reason for excitement, however.

You would expect some improvement from Palace after their sleepy display last weekend. They have won more points (19) than City (17) over the last ten games, beating Chelsea and Liverpool away from home in that run. The away win and the draw both tempt at 13.00 and 7.20 respectively.

Over/Under 2.5 Goals

Both sides have plenty of attacking firepower, so the inclination is to plump for the overs here. But odds of 1.40 make us reassess. Three of City's last four home assignments have gone under the 2.5-goal line and with uncertainty over Silva and Aguero, it's not guaranteed that they'll cut through Palace.

The Eagles, for their part, have not scored in three trips to the Etihad and come into this game off the back of two blanks. It's no banker, but the unders might be worth a punt at inflated odds of 3.30.

Correct Score

City have been far from imperious on home soil this term, and while they do look the more likely winners of Saturday's match, they look unlikely to have things all their own way. This brings the Correct Score market into our thinking.

Of City's 16 home matches in the Premier League, eight have finished either 1-1 or 2-1. Those scorelines are currently trading at 15.00 and 10.50 respectively, so splitting your stake still offers a decent profit.

To Score

With Aguero and Jesus predictably short, so the best option is probably Leroy Sane. He started on the bench against Middlesbrough, so should be rested, and his pace should be a major factor against a backline not known for its athleticism. He is 13/10 to notch here.

Ref Watch

Michael Oliver takes charge of his 30th Premier League game of the season - no other referee has officiated more. He has been relatively frugal with the cards so far, handing out just 94 yellows and two reds across his appointments.

Recommended Bet
Back 1-1 and 2-1 scorelines (split stakes) at [5.18]

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