Premier League preview: Manchester City vs. Crystal Palace

AP Photo/Tim Ireland
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  • City could finish Sat. top of the PL
  • Palace could go as high as 6th
  • Last PL meeting: Palace 0-1 City
  • City’s 39 goals scored most in PL

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Manchester City could go top of the Premier League with a victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and online via Live Extra) and losses for Arsenal and Leicester City.

Manuel Pellegrini‘s side, which hasn’t won back to back PL games since Oct. 10 (12 games), currently sits three points behind the league-leading Gunners and second-place Foxes. Having drawn 0-0 with Everton on Wednesday, the three-point gap could have been just one ahead of Saturday’s clash with 8th-place Crystal Palace, who have hopes of European qualification of their own (four points back of West Ham United for fifth).

[ MORE: Top 5 storylines heading into Round 22 of the PL ]

On the injury front, Vincent Kompany (calf), Wilfried Bony (calf), Samir Nasri (hamstring), Eliaquim Mangala (unspecified) and Fernandinho (unspecified) will all be unavailable for City through injuries. Meanwhile, Palace will be without Yannick Bolasie (hip) and Dwight Gayle (hamstring).

What they’re saying

Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini: “Every game is different, we had a very difficult game against Palace in London winning in the very last minute. We were in a very good moment at the start of the season, scoring a lot of goals. It was a close game, maybe here in the cup was a bit easier but we don’t think tomorrow will be easy at all.”

Palace manager Alan Pardew: “[Emmanuel] Adebayor is a player that is there for somebody and it is a question of ourselves looking at that one and wondering where the right club for him is and whether he is the right player for us. It’s something that is in our mix and we’ll have to wait and see. We are trying to bring a striker in.”

Prediction

Expect Palace to sit really, really deep in this game and defend with lots of numbers behind the ball — it’s the tried-and-true, surefire way to frustrate City, and just about the only way to keep them from putting three or four on the scoreboard. That said, if City are to win this year’s title, eventually they’re going to have to get in gear and figure out ways to win these games. City 2-1 Palace.