Author: Darren Moore
Published: 09:42 18/11/2016
It’s Guardiola versus Pardiola at Selhurst Park this weekend when Crystal Palace welcome Manchester City. On paper, one would imagine that there is only one winner when these two meet. Palace have the lowest points per game average of any team in the top four divisions of English football and there’s a chance that they could get battered here. A strong chance.
However, Christian Benteke could be the wrecking ball that stops City in their tracks. Claudio Bravo and his defence have shown that they’re not fond of physical strikers with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic causing serious disruption to their backline.
Pardew is going to instruct his team to pump balls into the box and hope that his wingers can catch City on the counter as many teams have done this season. Southampton and Barcelona are two teams that spring to mind. Palace aren’t quite in that class but there’s no reason why Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend can’t cause problems.
City have no major injury concerns and Guardiola has had a fortnight to grow hair and tear it out after failing to beat Middlesbrough at home. They need to be more clinical and should have plenty of opportunities against a leaky Palace defence.
Palace predicted XI: Mandanda, Delaney, Dann, Kelly, Ward, Cabaye, Puncheon, McArthur, Townsend, Zaha, Benteke
City predicted XI: Bravo, Clichy, Zabaleta, Kolarov, Stones, David Silva, Jesús Navas, Fernandinho, Gündoğan, De Bruyne, Agüero
Tip: Manchester City and over 2.5 goals @ 11/10 with Bet365