The Premier League returns this weekend after an international break, meaning that Manchester City’s quest for a third straight domestic title is in the spotlight again. The Citizens have had three shock results this year, and that has City eight points behind league leaders Liverpool. Manchester City are still slight favorites to threepeat per the Premier League betting odds, but they must start blasting opponents once more if they want to win the league. Crystal Palace knocked off City in the Etihad last year, so City must not let their guard down again.
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- Manchester City vs. Crystal Palace
- Date and Time: October 19, 2019, 12:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Selhurst Park, London, England
- US Television Coverage: NBC
- Betting Line: Manchester City -1.5 and -2, O/U 3 and 3.5
Crystal Palace are off to a fantastic start this campaign. The Glaziers are 4-2-2 thanks to a stingy defense that has allowed just eight goals through eight games. They have gone on the road and defeated both Manchester United and West Ham, and they have secured a result in each of their home games this season. In their last match, they overcame a 1-0 deficit to nip the Hammers 2-1 thanks to some late heroics from Jordan Ayew.
Maybe this will be the season Manchester City finally win the Champions League. The Citizens have had unprecedented success domestically over the last two years, winning 32 games in the Premier League each of the last two campaigns en route to winning the league. They became the first English club to ever win the domestic treble, but European success has always eluded them.
City have been great in the Champions League, but they have already dropped points in three Premier League games. They were stunned by newly promoted Norwich City last month, and Wolves shocked them in the Etihad in their last league match.
Mamadou Sakho is considered doubtful to play for Crystal Palace this weekend due to a strained knee. The first-team defender has been missed, but this back line has been excellent in his absence.
The visitors won’t have Leroy Sane and Aymeric Laporte for at least a couple more months, but every other player is in contention to see time for Pep Guardiola’s club. Fullback Benjamin Mendy is questionable with a thigh injury, and Kyle Walker, John Stones, and Kevin De Bruyne are all probable to play.
Manchester City Player to Watch
Speaking of De Bruyne, the Belgian midfielder is incredibly important to City’s success. His eight assists are double that of any other player in the Premier League, and his incredible vision continually frees Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling to make plays. The record for assists in a season is 20, set by Arsenal’s Thierry Henry during the 2002-03 campaign, so it is well within his reach provided he stays healthy.
Crystal Palace Player to Watch
It seems likely that Wilfried Zaha will be leaving Palace in January. The club’s best offensive weapon has repeatedly expressed a desire to leave, and he has not been productive this campaign. He has just one assist, and he has yet to score in eight appearances for Palace this campaign after registering 10 goals and five assists for Roy Hodgson’s Glaziers last season.
We’ve seen City either struggle or crush opponents this season, and the latter is probably the right prediction this weekend. Palace don’t have the weapons up front to counter City, so expect a big win for the hosts.
English Premier League Prediction: Manchester City 3, Crystal Palace 0
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