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Jan 17, 2021 at 7.15pm UK
Man CityManchester City
4-0
Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace
Stones (26', 68'), Gundogan (56'), Sterling (88')
FT(HT: 1-0)
/esi/1339/6_G_1_120552/index.html?art_id=430787&game_id=120552&sport_id=1&ESI

Pep Guardiola out to make it third time lucky against Crystal Palace

:Headline: Pep Guardiola out to make it third time lucky against Crystal Palace:
Palace claimed a stunning 3-2 victory over City at the Etihad in December 2018 and shared a dramatic 2-2 draw 12 months ago.
Sports Mole

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is devoting his full attention to beating Crystal Palace this weekend after two seasons of struggles against Roy Hodgson's side.

City are in good form ahead of Palace's visit to the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League on Sunday having gone 14 games unbeaten in all competitions.

They have also won their last four in the league to move into strong title contention but Guardiola is well aware of how Palace can throw a spanner in the works.

Andros Towsend (left) scored a brilliant goal when Palace won 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium in 2018 (Martin Rickett/PA)

Palace claimed a stunning 3-2 victory over City at the Etihad in December 2018 and shared a dramatic 2-2 draw in their last game there 12 months ago.

Guardiola said: "In my head – and hopefully in the head of the players – it's just Crystal Palace.

"We were not able to beat them at home in the last two seasons. This is the only target that we have.

"A team like Crystal Palace knows exactly what they have to do. You have be patient and at the same time give a rhythm, but they are so clever.

"They defended well against Arsenal and they can produce a lot of quality up front. They were able to control a lot of the game.

"It was really tough the last two seasons here when we lost and drew, but we try to convince the players to do their job and win the game."

City have won their last four Premier League matches (Laurence Griffiths/PA)

Palace have shown renewed resilience since losing 7-0 to Liverpool and 3-0 to Aston Villa in consecutive games last month.

In their last three Premier League games, the Eagles have claimed creditable draws against Leicester and Arsenal and beaten Sheffield United.

Guardiola feels what they have experienced in recent weeks is typical of what all sides will have to go through in the Premier League this season due to the crammed scheduling.

He said: "All the clubs have had their up and downs this season, more than ever. Every team has three or four good results and after that, one, two, three bad results.

"Crystal Palace is not an exception. What they have changed I don't know – but they know it."

City are again without striker Sergio Aguero, who continues to isolate as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus. Defenders Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake are out with muscular problems.

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City26195252163662
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd26148453322150
3Leicester CityLeicester26154745301549
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham2613674031945
5Chelsea26128641251644
6Liverpool26127747341343
7Everton2412483733440
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs25116841271439
9Aston Villa24123938261239
10Arsenal26114113427737
11Leeds UnitedLeeds26112134344-135
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2697102733-634
13Crystal Palace2696112943-1433
14Southampton2586113143-1230
15Burnley2677121834-1628
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton26511102633-726
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2675142744-1726
18Fulham26411112132-1123
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2638152055-3517
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2632211543-2811
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