Premier League leaders Manchester Metropolis journey down south this Sunday to tackle a Crystal Palace facet who’ve misplaced simply one among their final 9 video games, though the Residents themselves are on an 18-game profitable run; considerably dwarfing the Eagles’ achievements.
Pep Guardiola’s facet ran out 1-Zero winners final trip in opposition to Newcastle in a sport the place they had been annoyed in durations by the Magpies, and Roy Hodgson can be sensible to look at how Rafa Benitez set his facet up within the hope of replicating their efficiency.
Nonetheless, Hodgson can set his facet up nonetheless he likes, the Eagles’ particular person high quality does not come near that of Metropolis’s.
Listed here are three key battles that could possibly be decisive within the final result of the sport.
three. Wilfried Zaha vs Kyle Walker
When Pep Guardiola personally comes out and states that his facet have to keep watch over one participant, you’d higher sit up and take discover of mentioned participant: Wilfried Zaha.
A rumoured goal for the desk toppers and a lot of the high six, Palace’s academy product is enjoying the perfect soccer of his profession, and is embracing the talismanic duty being positioned on him at his boyhood membership.
Kyle Walker has tempo in abundance and can be performing admirably this season, however in additional video games that not this season, the Ivorian is taking up and beating any fullback he comes up in opposition to.
2. Raheem Sterling vs James Tomkins
After years of criticism for his inconsistent shows and ill-advised media interactions throughout his time at Liverpool, Raheem Sterling is silencing his doubters and making the footballing world sit up and take discover.
The 23-year-old has at all times had the expertise in his locker, however it’s Pep Guardiola’s direct teaching that’s taking the England worldwide’s sport to new ranges. Sterling has hit 18 targets in 23 appearances up to now this season, together with a variety of late winners for his facet, making him arguably one among Guardiola’s key elements in his juggernaut facet.
A significant factor in Sterling’s finish product is his consistency at getting inside the complete again and popping up extra centrally from the left facet, which means that Palace’s James Tomkins will greater than possible be the person immediately dealing with the pacey ahead.
Not many have been capable of cease Sterling this season, but when the previous West Ham man can shackle the ahead, Palace may snatch one thing from this ominous wanting affair.
1. Kevin De Bruyne vs Luka Milivojevic
Simpler mentioned than finished within the very sense of the phrase, but when Palace can one way or the other cease Kevin De Bruyne from pulling the strings on Sunday, Metropolis’s finest participant shall be nullified and the Eagles could scrape a consequence.
In actuality, De Bruyne cannot actually be stopped, can he? Even when annoyed by Newcastle final trip, the Belgian nonetheless discovered time to help Raheem Sterling for the winner, emphasising the truth that the previous Chelsea man does not want many possibilities to make the distinction.
Palace’s defensive midfielder Luka Milivojevic could also be assigned the unlucky activity of man marking the elusive string puller, however should be cautious of neglecting his duty elsewhere by focusing all his power on the Belgian.
If the Serbian worldwide shackles the Belgian to some extent, Palace have an opportunity.