In a surprising development, VAR has stuck its oar into most of this afternoon’s matches. It sounds like Burnley have been the latest victims of football’s all-singing, all-dancing kangaroo court.
Manchester City are without Nicolas Otamendi and Kyle Walker, so they have a centre-back pairing of Fernandinho and Rodri. Oh I say!
Crystal Palace (4-1-4-1) Hennessey; Ward, Cahill, Tomkins, van Aanholt; Milivojevic; Zaha, Kouyate, McArthur, Schlupp; Ayew.
Substitutes: Henderson, Dann, McCarthy, Meyer, Townsend, Riedewald, Benteke,
Manchester City (0-4-1-2-3) Ederson; Joao Cancelo, Rodri, Fernandinho, Mendy; Gundogan; De Bruyne, D Silva; B Silva, Jesus, Sterling.
Substitutes: Bravo, Stones, Angelino, Garcia, Aguero, Mahrez, Foden.
Referee Anthony Taylor.
Hello. The last time Manchester City had a blip, they won 18 of the next 19 league games to pip Liverpool to the title. They will need produce the same murderous form over an even longer stretch if they are to reel Liverpool in this year. City have dropped eight points in eight games, which equals their worst start to a league season since the Abu Dhabi United Group takeover in 2008. Last season they dropped 16 points in 38 matches.
All they can do is start winning again, then keep winning, and hope Liverpool get an almighty case of finishinglineitis. But it’s not beyond the realms that the title race could be over by the time City leave Anfield on 10 November.
Today’s match certainly isn’t a banker for City. Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace are one of only two teams, Liverpool being the other, to take points off them in each of the last two seasons. That statistic is a reflection of how dominant City have been in recent times. Indeed, they’ve won 79 of their last 100 Premier League games.
I haven’t had time to work out but that must be a seriously high win percentage. If they are to win a third consecutive title, it will probably need to be even higher.
Kick off is at 5.30pm.