Manchester City host Crystal Palace on Saturday just three days after being denied a last-minute penalty in their 0-0 draw with Everton.
Raheem Sterling was deemed to have gone down too easily by referee Roger East and City had to settle for a point. With Arsenal drawing at Anfield, City’s chance to reduce the gap at the top of the table to a single point was taken away from them.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side remain third in the table. Their lack of consistency is holding them back and they desperately need a run of good results.
Palace arrive in eighth position and pose a real threat to City. Alan Pardew has put together a very useful side who have pace on the break and some gifted players who can damage the opposition.
The two sides have met seven times in the Premier League, with City winning six, including the 1-0 win at Selhurst Park in September courtesy of Kelechi Iheanacho’s last-gasp winner.
City have scored 29 league goals at home this season—the highest in the division.
Date: Saturday, January 16
Kick-off: 3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET
TV Listings: NBCSN, NBC Sports Live Extra (US)
Everton 0-0 Manchester City
Norwich City 0-3 Manchester City (FA Cup)
Everton 2-1 Manchester City (League Cup)
Watford 1-2 Manchester City
Leicester 0-0 Manchester City
Aston Villa 1-0 Crystal Palace
Southampton 1-2 Crystal Palace (FA Cup)
Crystal Palace 0-3 Chelsea
Crystal Palace 0-0 Swansea
Bournemouth 0-0 Crystal Palace
City are without Fernandinho, Eliaquim Mangala, Vincent Kompany, Wilfried Bony and Samir Nasri.
Manchester City (from): Caballero, Hart, Wright, Clichy, Demichelis, Kolarov, Mangala, Otamendi, Sagna, Zabaleta, De Bruyne, Delph, Fernandinho, Fernando, Navas, Roberts, Silva, Toure, Zuculini, Aguero, Bony, Iheanacho, Sterling.
Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Hart; Sagna, Otamendi, Demichelis, Clichy; Delph, Toure; Navas, De Bruyne, Silva; Aguero
Pardew is without Yannick Bolasie (hip) and Dwight Gayle (hamstring).
Crystal Palace (from): Hennessey, McCarthy, Speroni, Dann, Delaney, Hangeland, Kelly, Mariappa, Souare, Ward, Cabaye, Guedioura, Jedinak, Ledley, Lee, McArthur, Mutch, Puncheon, Sako, Williams, Zaha, Campbell, Chamakh, Wickham.
Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Speroni; Ward, Delamey, Dann, Souare; McArthur, Cabaye; Zaha, Puncheon, Sako; Wickham
Players To Watch
Manchester City: Sergio Aguero
He may not have hit top gear yet this season, but Sergio Aguero is a huge talent and remains City's most potent player in front of goal.
He was quiet against Everton on Wednesday, but last weekend against Norwich, he produced a sparkling display.
The second half of the season is crucial for City and Aguero is key to their title hopes.
At his best, City have a far better chance of lifting the Premier League trophy. It's that simple.
Crystal Palace: Wilfried Zaha
Former Manchester United winger Wilfried Zaha may remain an inconsistent player, but his capability is clear.
He is a gifted young player, one capable of beating players and creating space for others to prosper.
He has pace to burn, and with Yohan Cabaye a superb passer capable of releasing him at will, it's a dangerous facet of Palace's play.
They don't mind allowing the opposition to dominate the ball because they know when they win it back, they can break quickly and cause damage.
Yaya Toure vs. Yohan Cabaye
Yahan Cabaye will need to keep one eye on City's Yaya Toure, a player capable of having a huge influence on his side's attacking game.
The Ivorian was excellent against Everton in midweek, with his superb passing, strength and running power central to City's best moments.
He's struggled in recent weeks to produce his best form consistently, particularly during periods where City have to negotiate a lot of games.
Can he play two games in a short space of time any more?
When he's rested and in form, there are few better.
Manchester City: 73/192
Crystal Palace: 166/25
(via Odds Shark)
Rob Pollard is Bleacher Report's lead Manchester City correspondent and will be following the club from a Manchester base throughout the 2015/16 season. All quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Follow him on Twitter @RobPollard_.