Crystal Palace face the ultimate Premier League test this weekend as they face off against Manchester City.
It goes without saying that the Eagles will certainly need their best players if they stand any chance of earning victory against Pep Guardiola’s champions in waiting.
One of the inclusions in the starting line-up must be on-loan Chelsea man Michy Batshuayi for Jordan Ayew.
Having hit nine goals for Roy Hodgson’s men last season, the Ghanaian frontman has got nowhere near those numbers this time around having scored just once – that goal coming in a 4-1 victory against Leeds United all the way back in November.
Meanwhile, whilst Batshuayi has not been much more prolific, having only found the net on two occasions since returning to Selhurst Park for another loan spell, he has managed that count in just under a third of the time, having made just seven Premier League starts this season compared to Ayew’s 21.
One aspect of his play which might also come in useful against City is his retention of the ball. According to WhoScored, Batshuayi is dispossessed on 1.3 occasions per match whilst having an average of 1.4 unsuccessful touches. These numbers are dramatically lower than Ayew’s 2.1 and 2.7 respectively.
Coming up against Manchester City – who will attempt to dominate the ball – having a reliable forward who can hold possession could be key.
The Belgian is also in better form than Ayew. He recently scored a late equaliser against Everton at Goodison Park. only to be cut from the squad for Palace’s clash against his parent club Chelsea due to the terms of the loan agreement – a game in which the £9m-rated forward might otherwise have started.
Hailed as “top-class” in the past by former Blues boss Frank Lampard, it could be suggested that Palace need some kind of inspiration along those lines.
The Eagles have won just one out of their last seven Premier League games. losing their last two, and are in real danger of letting their season fizzle out in the closing stages.
In order to avoid that from happening, Batshuayi must start against Manchester City today.
AND in more news, find out why Palace have been handed a boost in their future plans…