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Having not been in the hunt for the opening months of the season, Man City’s form has elevated them up to third in the table, while a win in their game in hand would take them above Liverpool and just one point off league leaders Man United, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down.
It’s now seven wins on the bounce for the Citizens across all competitions, while even two of their three non-league wins came over Arsenal and Man United.
The key to their success has been their consistently resilient defensive performances, with Ruben Dias’ and John Stones’ partnership integral to that.
Indeed, they’ve won just two of the seven matches in which they haven’t started since Dias joined the club, while when they are paired together at the back, they’ve won six of seven games with Callum Hudson-Odoi remaining the only player to have scored against them.
Crystal Palace played out a dire middle of the table 0-0 draw with fellow Londoners Arsenal on Thursday night, and that’s unfortunately been typical of Roy Hodgson’s side in recent years.
However, the addition of Eberechi Eze has added more spark to an attack that has heavily relied of Wilfried Zaha previously, and with that has come some more exciting games, with Thursday’s game an exception.
Only Leeds have scored more goals in the bottom half of the table than Palace this season as they’ve netted in all but one of their six matches against the current top seven in the table, with the exception coming in their thumping defeat against the Champions.
Though, that defeat shows that they can get unstuck at times, as they also suffered heavy defeats against Chelsea and Aston Villa this season, both of which came away from home like this one will be.
Man City HT/FT Win/Win
On balance, we’d expect this game to follow a similar pattern to those heavy defeats, as the hosts have picked up a lot of momentum lately and possess the best defensive unit in the league at present, though the outright win holds little value here.
Pep Guardiola’s side have the best first half record of any team in the league in terms of points per game, and their half time score has tended to be reflected in the full-time result, as has been the case in 13 of their 16 matches this season, including each of their last 11 games as the last four have produced W/W half-time/full-time doubles, while Palace have lost five of their six matches when being down at the break, with the exception coming against Spurs who have made a habit of throwing away leads this season.
Crystal Palace/Draw Second half Double Chance
Amazingly 76% of Man City’s goals this season have come before the break, including nine of their last 10 across their most recent seven fixtures, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Palace remain competitive after the break.