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Superstar Jesus can be saviour for Manchester City

Drop-zone fears could increase for injury-hit Crystal Palace

Gabriel Jesus (right) scored Manchester City's second equaliser at Middlesbrough last time out
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Premier League
Sky Sports 1, 12.30pm Saturday

Sam Allardyce is hunting down one more big performance to keep Crystal Palace in the Premier League but the Eagles could be left looking nervously behind them after their difficult trip to Manchester City.

Playing before their relegation rivals can be an advantage for Palace if they get points on the board in the early encounter, although with Hull and Swansea having winnable home matches against Sunderland and Everton respectively the odds suggest Big Sam could have bigger relegation concerns.

A full-strength Palace may have fancied their chances of landing another upset following recent road trips to Chelsea and Liverpool as well as smashing Arsenal at Selhurst Park but Allardyce is without three sidelined centre-backs as well as Yohan Cabaye.

Andros Townsend is also doubtful and next week's huge home humdinger with Hull looks a much more likely opportunity for Palace to finally celebrate retaining their top-flight status.

City have had their problems against England's elite this term yet they deserve to be considered strong favourites at home to a lesser light with leaders Chelsea the only visiting side to win at the Etihad in any competition this season.

When not facing the top seven, City have won 17 of their 22 matches, although it is understandable punters will be feeling slightly nervous of going in again at short odds following last week's 2-2 draw at Middlesbrough.

Gabriel Jesus continued his excellent goal ratio with the second equaliser at the Riverside, and with Sergio Aguero ruled out because of injury, the Brazilian can bag again.

Jesus has been a sensation in his brief appearances, scoring four times in six Premier League matches for a goal every 74.5 minutes and looks the man most likely to take advantage of Palace's major defensive concerns.

Palace won at Anfield without the services of injured on-loan star Mamadou Sakho but James Tomkins was available for that trip to Merseyside, while Cabaye dictated matters in midfield.

Allardyce does not seem to have any other option than to use Martin Kelly alongside Damien Delaney and City's top-quality attack should take advantage.

On the break Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke should at least keep City honest with Pep Guardiola talking up the Belgian beast in his pre-game press conference.

"Benteke is of the strongest players in the world in the penalty box," said Guardiola, whose side remain in a tricky battle to secure Champions League football.

However, the run-in is nice with home games against Leicester and West Brom as well as a trip to Watford and City can start a period of three straight Etihad fixtures with a comfortable success.

Recommendation
G Jesus to score first
1pt each-way 7-2 bet365

Bet on this game at Soccerbase.com


Team news
Manchester City
Sergio Aguero, Claudio Bravo and John Stones are missing because of injury. David Silva is doubtful.

Crystal Palace
Yohan Cabaye, Mamadou Sakho, James Tomkins, Scott Dann, Connor Wickham and Pape Souare are all injured. Andros Townsend tweaked a muscle in training and is rated doubtful.

Key stat
Manchester City have won 12 of their last 13 meetings against Palace, including each of the last five.

 

Allardyce does not seem to have any other option than to use Martin Kelly alongside Damien Delaney and the quality of City's attack can take advantage
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