Crystal Palace travel to the Etihad Stadium to take on Manchester City tonight, where the Eagles will face a very tough battle to get a result.
However, Roy Hodgson’s side should be encouraged by picking up a point against Arsenal on Thursday, who were previously on a four-game winning run.
With two games in three days, Hodgson should probably make a couple of chances to the experienced XI who faced the Gunners.
Here’s the XI we think should be deployed against Pep Guardiola’s men…
Joel Ward and Cheikhou Kouyate out
With Gary Cahill fit again, and well-rested having watched the Arsenal clash from the bench, we think the ex-Chelsea man should return to the XI.
He got an assist in this fixture last term, and his experience could be key – alongside Thursday’s Man of the Match in James Tomkins, City will have to work hard to unlock the solid duo.
🏆 It was tight, but you voted Tonks as yesterday’s @etoro Man of the Match!#CPFC | https://t.co/utMcYSDkhb— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) January 15, 2021
Elsewhere, we think Nathaniel Clyne should come in for Joel Ward.
The £400,000 right-back did well against Arsenal, but we feel Clyne’s pace will be required up against Raheem Sterling.
Where’s Cheikhou Kouyate? Well, you’re about to find out.
James McArthur out, Kouyate in
In a surprise move, we think Hodgson should put Kouyate back in midfield to provide the physicality and engine to spoil City’s tidy passing routines.
It is, admittedly, unfair to drop James McArthur, as he delivered a tireless display against Arsenal – the statistics below prove that.
Ball recoveries: 13— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) January 14, 2021
A textbook performance from Jimmy Mac 👊#CPFC | #ARSCRY pic.twitter.com/AjVfFUi2eI
However, as we recently detailed, the Scot is now 33, and needs to be managed carefully by Hodgson.
Christian Benteke and Wilfried Zaha upfront again
Up top, Christian Benteke and Wilfried Zaha should line up alongside each other once again.
The duo linked up well against Arsenal, with Benteke nearly scoring a powerful glanced header from Tyrick Mitchell’s cross, only for Bernd Leno to tip it wide.
Predicted lineup: Guaita; Clyne, Cahill, Tomkins, Mitchell; Kouyate, Milivojevic, Townsend, Eze; Benteke, Zaha