Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has given his latest round of Premier League predictions and failed to recognise a key trend in a wide-of-the-mark statement on the Crystal Palace vs Manchester City match.
Pep Guardiola’s Cityzens make the tricky trip to Selhurst Park on Sunday afternoon in dodgy form, coming off of Champions League disappointment at Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday evening.
Before that, they could only just edge past Brighton & Hove Albion in the Emirates FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley last weekend.
Whereas, Roy Hodgson’s Eagles are high on confidence following an impressive away three points at Newcastle United the last time they took to the field.
Predicting a 2-1 triumph for Blue Moon, Merson commented the following on the intriguing encounter:
“I think Man City win because Palace haven’t been great – especially at home. But it’s down to pressure, now. They could be 1-0 up and cruising, with five minutes to play. And then from a set play it could be 1-1 and that could be it.
“It’s getting to that stage. They lacked a bit of cutting edge against Brighton and again in midweek in the Champions League. I don’t know if that’s them hitting a brick wall.
“I think they’ll have just about enough here but it’ll be a tense game.”
Talking about the match, the Arsenal legend hasn’t picked up on an important pattern that’s developed in meetings of these teams recently.
Merson didn’t mention the fact that the Cityzens have really struggled in these sides’ last two meetings, in a way they haven’t against any other lower opposition.
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Last season, Guardiola’s men’s 100 per cent record came to an end at Selhurst and just before Christmas, they were stunned by the South Londoners 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium.
Combine these facts with City’s lackadaisical form and we get the recipe for Palace getting a result, in contrary to Merson’s prediction.