Crystal Palace welcome Manchester City to Selhurst Park this Saturday evening, where they’ll once again be hoping to give the Citizens a competitive game.
While Pep Guardiola’s side like to walk over teams, scoring ridiculous amounts of goals at times, Roy Hodgson has proved to be a difficult opponent for the Spaniard to overcome in recent meetings.
A 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park in the 2017/18 campaign – in which Luka Milivojevic missed a last-gasp penalty – was followed by a stunning 3-2 win for Palace at the Etihad Stadium last season, before a close 3-1 win for City in south London followed – that was the last meeting between the pair.
On that note, we think Hodgson should take inspiration from the aforementioned 3-2 win in regards to his team selection this weekend…
Max Meyer started on the left of midfield, James McArthur on the right, with Milivojevic and Jeffrey Schlupp in the middle – Wilfried Zaha was alone up top.
The south Londoners had just five shots and 21.7% of the ball in total, but as the Eagles have already shown this season, they don’t need a load of goals to win games – they have scored just eight in eight games but sit in 6th.
On that day, packing out the midfield did the trick and allowed for the unit as a whole to remain organised, with pace on the break in Zaha, Schlupp and Townsend to pose the occasional problem for City.
Contrastingly, in the 3-1 defeat at Selhurst Park in the reverse fixture, Hodgson started Christian Benteke. The Belgian’s height allowed for long balls to be played if wanted, but he doesn’t possess the pace to cause issues in behind and City won quite comfortably, albeit after a nervy last 10 minutes.
It may have been a once-in-a-lifetime result last season in Manchester, but Hodgson should take inspiration from the game plan that day and look to utilise it once again.