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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Raheem Sterling could be on the money for Man City

Crystal Palace no match for leaders

Man City's Raheem Sterling (right) and Gabriel Jesus
1 of 1

Premier League
BT Sport 1, midday Sunday

Manchester City have their eyes set on yet another record and they should equal the run of consecutive victories in one of Europe's elite leagues by extending their Premier League winning sequence to 19 games at Crystal Palace.

Bayern Munich, also under Pep Guardiola, hold the landmark but the record should be breached either side of the new year celebrations, first at Selhurst Park before Watford visit Manchester on Tuesday.

The runaway and so far invincible Premier League leaders don't need any help but the fixture list has been kind with an extra day to prepare compared to their lowly opponents, who were beaten 3-2 in a frantic London derby against Arsenal on Thursday.

Eagles boss Roy Hodgson said a number of unnamed players were doubtful with minor injuries and cynics may suggest he would be wise to rest a few tired limbs for the much more winnable contest at Southampton on Tuesday.

"The players will be doing their level best" said Hodgson after the Arsenal game while also bemoaning the bumps and bruises to his small squad at this frantic time of the year.

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Saturday round-up

For Palace to land a massive upset they will need everyone to play to their maximum but the short turnaround does not even give the methodical manager an opportunity to prepare properly for the kind of all-out defensive strategy adopted against City by Rafael Benitez's Newcastle on Wednesday.

That comfortable 1-0 win was sealed by a Raheem Sterling goal and the winger could be the man to break the deadlock once more.

Sterling has been a revelation for Guardiola's side this season, leading the City goalscoring charts both in the Premier League and Champions League with 17 goals across the two major competitions.

Despite that he still goes off at bigger prices than forwards Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero even though the duo are behind Sterling in the minutes per goal pecking order for the league and Europe this season.

Sterling averages a goal every 100 minutes, Aguero every 101 and Jesus has just gone quiet with an MPG of 134. Only Aguero averages more Premier League shots than Sterling in the City ranks.

It's a bit of a guess as to who will start in the forward positions as Guardiola is likely to rotate, but if Sterling gets the nod in his usual position off the right he is just as likely to benefit from the through balls of Kevin De Bruyne.

Those looking at the correct-score markets may not want to go too crazy as City have won by only one goal in six of their last nine victories so the single-goal winning margin may be of interest at

However, in the other three City scored four against Swansea, Bournemouth and Tottenham and Palace may look towards Tuesday if the game gets away from them.

R Sterling first goalscorer
1pt 5-1 bet365

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Premier League standings

Team news
Crystal Palace
Roy Hodgson has said a number of players are doubtful. Martin Kelly, Yohan Cabaye and Ruben Loftus-Cheek came off against Arsenal, while Joel Ward, Mamadou Sakho, Damien Delaney and Connor Wickham are ruled out. 

Man City
John Stones is not fit enough to play 90 minutes but is back in training, while Vincent Kompany and Fabian Delph return. David Silva remains doubtful due to personal reasons. Benjamin Mendy and Phil Foden are definitely out.

Key stat
City have won their last seven matches against Palace by an aggregate 25-2.

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Sterling has been a revelation for Guardiola's side this season, leading the City goalscoring charts both in the Premier League and Champions League
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