In-form Crystal Palace will move above Manchester City in the Premier League standings if they beat the champions at Selhurst Park. Palace currently sit sixth in the standings, just two points behind second-placed City, with back-to-back wins over Norwich and West Ham propelling them into the reckoning as potential European contenders.
However, Roy Hodgson’s side will face a stern test of their credentials over the coming weeks as four of their next five games are against ‘big six’ sides, starting with Saturday’s visit of City as they put their unbeaten home record on the line.
Palace will once again be without defender Mamadou Sakho, with the Frenchman being eased back from a strain – a side-effect of the serious knee injury he suffered last season.
Captain Luka Milivojevic is available again after being banned for the victory at West Ham last time out, with the Serbian expected to take James McCarthy’s place in the middle of the park.
City fell eight points behind early-season pacesetters Liverpool after losing at home to Wolves before the international break and they can hardly afford any more slips if they are to challenge for a third successive Premier League title.
The Citizens, who have won their last three away games across all competitions since losing at Norwich last month, should be able to welcome back Kevin De Bruyne and Benjamin Mendy following respective groin and hamstring injuries.
Boss Pep Guardiola may also opt to start Gabriel Jesus up front in place of Sergio Aguero, while City will definitely be without long-term absentees Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane, as well as John Stones.
City have not lost on any of their last five visits to Selhurst Park, a run that dates back to 2015, but the Eagles did claim a 3-2 triumph at the Etihad Stadium last season, a match remembered for one of the goals of the season from Palace winger Andros Townsend.
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