Pep Guardiola enjoyed an excellent start to his first season in English football, however things are threatening to fizzle out somewhat and it looks as though his maiden campaign on these shores could prove to be something of a disappointment. Defeat in the FA Cup semi-final to Arsenal and an exit from the Champions League at the hands of Monaco ended any hopes that the former Bayern Munich manager had of lifting any silverware and a finish in the Premier League top-four may yet also elude his side.
The Citizens sit just a single point above arch-rivals Manchester United in the league table as things stand with Arsenal just five points further back. As such, Guardiola will be desperate for three points at lunchtime on Saturday, however wins have been pretty thin on the ground in recent months. City were held to a dismal draw by relegation-bound Middlesbrough at the weekend and with just two wins in their last eight Premier League outings, things couldn’t be much worse.
The Red Devils have also dropped points in abundance but they remain hot on City’s heels and a resurgent Crystal Palace will be confident of piling even more pressure upon Guardiola’s side by managing something for their efforts at the Etihad Stadium this weekend. Palace may have endured back-to-back defeats in their last two outings but they have been pretty solid on the road recently with victories at Chelsea and Liverpool. They put Arsenal to the sword 3-0 at Selhurst Park last month and they will make life very difficult for the Citizens this weekend.
Nevertheless we expect the hosts to run in as winners on Saturday. City have only dropped points at home to sides fighting for a European berth and they have already beaten the Eagles this season. The South London side did find the net on that occasion however and we envisage them scoring a consolation effort against a City defence which is far from secure.
Sergio Aguero will likely play an influential part in this clash, the Argentinian remaining one of the Premier League’s most dangerous strikers despite failing to hit the heights of previous campaigns. He has netted in all-but-one of his last seven appearances and he should find the net again this weekend.