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Crystal Palace vs Man City: Eagles could have huge say in the destiny of Premier League title


IT'S time to throw a spanner in the Premier League title race.

That's what Palace could do when they welcome Manchester City to Selhurst Park on Sunday.

The visitors must win to keep up the pressure on leaders Liverpool, especially if Brendan Rodgers' side beat Chelsea in the big clash at Anfield on Sunday.

However, for the neutral fan out there, if you've kept an eye on how the Eagles have been doing lately, you'll know full well that three points will not be won before the ball is kicked.

Tony Pulis' men are the form side in the top flight with five wins in a row – which equalled the squad of the 1992-93 season in the Premier League when they achieved the same feat.

Palace will be looking to break that record again and they should feel confident going into this one. There is nothing to fear.

And they could be helped further with two of City's best players possibly ruled out through injury.

Yaya Toure may miss out with the muscle injury picked up at Liverpool recently, while David Silva was stretchered off against West Bromwich Albion on Monday night.

Of course, they could face late fitness tests ahead of what is a must-win game for Manuel Pellegrini's under-pressure side.

Pulis may welcome back Marouane Chamakh, who had a tight hamstring following the win at Everton and was rested at Upton Park.

Otherwise, he could stick with pretty much the same team we've seen for the last month, the same side who have conjured up those five victories to achieve survival.

Julian Speroni looks set to have Adrian Mariappa wearing a protective mask for a broken nose in his defence, with Scott Dann, Damien Delaney and Joel Ward looking to bag another clean sheet also in the backline.

Skipper Mile Jedinak may have either Kagisho Dikgacoi or Joe Ledley alongside him in the centre of midfield, with Yannick Bolasie and Jason Puncheon patrolling the flanks.

If Pulis does bring Chamakh in, it's likely to be in behind Cameron Jerome at the expense of Ledley.

Back in December, City narrowly beat Palace 1-0 thanks to Edin Dzeko's goal but the scoreline did not reflect the actual performance.

The Eagles should have come away with a point and it was England goalkeeper Joe Hart who saved his side from potentially losing the contest.

Bolasie has fired a warning to City ahead of the clash on Sunday.

And he believes the Palace fans will play a major part in unsettling a City side who are still in the title race.

"Man City at home Sunday, playing in front of our crowd, we're looking at create an upset hopefully," said Bolasie.

"People might think we might take our foot off the gas but that's not the case.

"Everyone was calm [after West Ham]. There weren't any major celebrations and I think everyone is looking forward to playing Man City.

"They just about beat us at their place so we'll be looking forward to that with our crowd."

Meanwhile, in-form striker Jerome is also relishing the clash and says there is a lot of belief at Palace at the moment.

Jerome scored against Everton and then won the penalty at West Ham, so he will be feeling good facing the likes of Gael Clichy, Vincent Kompany and Martin Demichelis.

"We have come off the back of some good results and it was important we weren't complacent or took our foot off the gas last weekend," he said.

"We were delighted to keep the run and the momentum going. I am confident in every game that I go into.

"We showed the confidence which is going around the place at the moment. We are just full of belief and believe we can go out and beat most sides in the league.

"It's just the way things are going and the momentum is with us at the moment.

"We can't relax, so it would be nice to finish as high as possible."

Looking at City, Joe Hart will probably have a backline of Pablo Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis and either Clichy or Aleksandar Kolarov.

In midfield, Fernandinho could be partnered by Javi Garcia depending on Toure's injury, with Jesus Navas on the right and Samir Nasri on the left.

If Silva misses out, Pellegrini could opt for two out-and-out strikers in Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero.

Crystal Palace vs Man City: Eagles could have huge say in the destiny of Premier League title

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