Odds from DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or check out more offers and promo codes for the best online sportsbooks.
Crystal Palace are not exactly free-scoring, and City should be able to keep them at arm’s length by dominating possession.
Back Manchester City to win to nil (+110)
|Crystal Palace vs Manchester City Information|
|What||Crystal Palace vs Manchester City|
|Where||Selhurst Park, London, England|
|When||Saturday, 1 May 2021, 07.30 AM EDT|
|How to watch||NSBC Sports|
It has long been a question of when, rather than if, Manchester City are crowned champions of England, and their time could come this weekend. Victory over Crystal Palace would be enough to see Pep Guardiola’s side win the third title in four seasons if Liverpool then beat Manchester United on Sunday.
Given the wider circumstances at play, this year’s title triumph is arguably just as impressive as the 100- and 99-point campaigns of 2017/18 and 2018/19. Crystal Palace will struggle to halt a relentless City side, so back an away win to nil at Selhurst Park in Saturday’s early kick-off.
It has been a brilliant week so far for Manchester City. Last Sunday, a 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley saw the club win the League Cup for the fourth year on the bounce. The match may have been settled by a header from a set-piece in the final 10 minutes, but City dominated from the first whistle to the last and could easily have won by a three- or four-goal margin. It was the type of performance that showed why Guardiola’s side are on course to win the Premier League at a canter.
Then, on Wednesday, City took a huge step towards a first-ever appearance in the Champions League final. They were second-best in the first half of their semi-final first leg against PSG, with Marquinhos’ header giving the French side an advantage at the interval. But City turned the game on its head in the second period, as goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez gave them a 2-1 aggregate lead to take back to the Eithad Stadium.
Victory over Palace would make this an even better week for Guardiola and co. City will move 13 points clear at the summit of the standings with a win at Selhurst Park; Manchester United could close the gap to 10 points on Sunday, but there is no doubt that the title is on its way back to the blue half of Manchester.
Defeat by Chelsea in the semi-finals of the FA Cup means City can no longer become the first team to win the quadruple, but a treble of Premier League, Champions League, and League Cup are very much on the cards. No team in English soccer history has won all three of those trophies in the same season.
Barring an extraordinary turn of events, Crystal Palace is guaranteed a ninth consecutive campaign of Premier League soccer next term. These are unprecedented times for the south Londoners, who have never enjoyed such a long unbroken run in the top flight. Yet despite that achievement, Palace are approaching a crossroads. This will be a big summer for the club that won promotion in 2013.
For starters, Palace have 12 first-team players out of contract in June. It has already been confirmed that Mamadou Sakho will seek pastures new, but the likes of James McCarthy, Andros Townsend, Christian Benteke, Joel Ward, Patrick van Aanholt and Gary Cahill are facing uncertain futures.
Even more significantly, Roy Hodgson’s deal also expires in two months’ time. The former England manager has done an excellent job in his four seasons at the helm, but most Palace fans are pining for a change in the dugout. The longer it goes on without an announcement being made, the more likely it is that Hodgson will be on his way.
Eddie Howe, Sean Dyche, Frank Lampard and Steve Cooper are just some of the names who have been linked with the job. Chairman Steve Parish has a lot of thinking to do, but Hodgson himself will be preoccupied with thoughts of how to stop a Manchester City team that has been relentless since the turn of the year.
Hodgson’s teams are usually well organized and defensively solid, but that has not really been the case for Palace this term. Injuries have not helped, with the 73-year-old having been forced to field numerous different center-back combinations, but the Eagles have kept only seven clean sheets in 2020/21. That is the fourth-lowest figure in the division, while Palace’s record of 54 goals conceded is better than only Southampton, West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield United.
Their attacking record is not much better: Palace have scored just 34 goals, a tally that is better than only five other sides. They have found it particularly difficult against the so-called big six, drawing blanks in meetings with Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City at the Etihad.
That, coupled with the excellent defensive record of the champions-elect, suggests an away to nil is the most likely outcome in Saturday’s early game. City have conceded just 24 goals all season and have kept clean sheets in more than half of their matches. Against a Palace team that frequently lacks bite and conviction in the final third, Guardiola’s side should add another shut-out to their collection even if the manager rotates his starting XI with the second leg against PSG in mind.
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
© Rebel Penguin ApS 2023 (a subsidiary of Gaming Innovation Group Inc.)
We support responsible gambling. If you feel like you're losing control over your gambling experience, call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ, PA, WV), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA), 1-800-522-4700 (NV), 1-800-522-4700 (CO, TN), 1-855-2CALLGA (IL), 1-800-270-7117 (MI).
WSN.com is registered with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) under affiliate vendor ID 89744, with the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) under certificate of registration number SWR-000148, approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board as a gaming service provider, under certificate registration number 117656-1, possesses a Vendor Minor sports betting license from the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (account number 94414163), granted a vendor registration number VR007603-20-001 by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, an interim Sports Wagering Supplier license, under license number SWS 066, issued by the West Virginia Lottery Commission, a sports betting vendor registration, under registration number #100400, issued by the Director of Gaming Licensing and Investigations of the Virginia Lottery to operate in the State of Virginia, and a Vendor Registration issued by the Sports Wagering Committee of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation.
Advertising disclosure: WSN contains links to online retailers on its website. When people click on our affiliate links and make purchases, WSN earns a commission from our partners, including ESPN and various sportsbooks.