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Manchester City: Pep must bench Kyle Walker for Crystal Palace clash

Manchester City are back in action this afternoon with a Premier League clash against Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium.

Their previous league outing saw them rescue a point against Newcastle United last weekend by securing a 3-3 draw after being 3-1 down to the Magpies.

The Citizens also picked up another 3-3 draw in their midweek charity game against Barcelona.

In terms of what Pep Guardiola’s starting XI to take on the Eagles could look like, one man who started against the Toon but we feel should be benched on this occasion is Kyle Walker.

The England international didn’t have a great time coming up against Allan Saint-Maximin last weekend as the right-back was dribbled past on two occasions, more than any other City defender was on the day.

He also lost possession of the ball 18 times, more than any other defender who played a part in last Sunday’s 3-3 thriller.

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This display ultimately earned Walker a disappointing overall match rating of 6.1/10, making him the lowest-rated City player on the day according to SofaScore.

In the Manchester Evening News‘ player ratings after the match at St. James’ Park, they said that the right-back “could not keep hold of Saint-Maximin and cut a frustrated figure.”

Should City bench Walker against Palace?

Yes

Yes

No

No

With that in mind, and the fact that Palace have the joint-highest number in the league for dribbles that have led to a shot on target (7), as well as the fourth-highest percentage for shots on target (39.4%) and the second-highest rate for expected goals (5.5), it may be better off for the home side to have Joao Cancelo in at right-back and Sergio Gomez on the left.

Also, with Cancelo getting the assist for City’s second goal in midweek after replacing Rico Lewis at right-back, perhaps his attacking prowess could make it an easier decision for Guardiola to take the Englishman out of the team.

Having previously been described as a “car crash” on the pitch by Roy Keane and struggled at Newcastle last week, the £110k-per-week Walker may be better off on the bench today, instead of running the risk of him being a defensive liability which could cause City to drop points again.

Article title: Manchester City: Pep must bench Kyle Walker for Crystal Palace clash

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