Man City won’t be losing too much sleep over a goalless stalemate with Sporting Lisbon midweek, having already taken the first leg 5-0, and it’s not often that Pep Guardiola’s men slip up.
They’re W22-D2-L2 going back to the start of November, with the two defeats inflicted by Leipzig in a dead rubber group stage game in Europe, as well as a Tottenham side that have alternated between the ridiculous and the sublime in recent weeks.
Palace did secure a victory over Man City at the Etihad back in October, but they had lost four and drawn one across the previous five encounters, with each of City’s victories coming by minimum two-goal margins.
At least one team has failed to score in four of the last five clashes now, though an away clean sheet isn’t so easy to get behind given Palace have been better going forwards this season under Patrick Vieira, while the visitors do have a few absentees at the back.
Conrad Egan-Riley was given an opportunity at right-back midweek with Joao Cancelo suffering from illness and Kyle Walker suspended, though the latter will return to the line-up here.
Nathan Ake remains a doubt at centre-back, though more importantly, key man Ruben Dias is sidelined at present at City don’t appear so imperious defensively when Aymeric Laporte and John Stones are partnered together in the middle.
Man City -1 Handicap
Palace are currently enjoying a decent run of form, having lost just the once across their past eight in all competitions, even if this did include a pair of victories over League Two and Championship sides Hartlepool and Stoke in the FA Cup.
However, the defeat was inflicted when Chelsea came to Selhurst Park, as the Eagles have now lost all five clashes with the top seven in the table since the start of December.
Although Liverpool struggled with injuries last term, they and Man City have been the clear top sides in recent times and it’s worth noting that Palace have lost six of seven encounters with the duo since the start of last season.
They only scored in one of those defeats, while each of them came by minimum two-goal margins, so the visitors appear worthy of being backed on the handicap for a routine win.
MAN CITY -1 HANDICAP
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