English Premier League leader, Manchester City will host Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace on Saturday as the former England manager’s baptism of fire continues in earnest with the Eagles.
Man City has been in exceptional form of late as they hit five past Liverpool, four past Feyenoord and six past Watford without conceding a single goal at the other end.
Having set a new Premier League record with no goals in five defeats at the start of the season, life at Crystal Palace may get a lot worse before it improves.
After the Man City match on Saturday, the Eagles take on Man United and Chelsea in their next two matches.
Roy Hodgson, at least, had something to smile about in midweek. Huddersfield may have beaten Palace 3-0 on the opening day of the season, but the Eagles beat the Terriers 1-0 in the Carabao Cup.
As for Man City, they’ve made it clear from the outset they mean business this season.
Pep Guardiola spent a fortune in the summer, but City look a much more solid side as a result.
That’s bad news for Palace, who know they’ve lost their last six straight matches to Man City.
Guardiola only has one issue with his squad as Vincent Kompany returns from injury.
With a Champions League match against Shakhtar Donetsk coming up in midweek, Guardiola may shuffle his troops for the game against the bottom team in the league.
That could see Danilo, Bernando Silva and Leroy Sane all receive starts.
Mamadou Sakho played 70 minutes on Tuesday night in the cup, and the former Liverpool player could start at City.
Christian Benteke and Ruben Loftus-Cheek should return to the Palace side after they sat out the Huddersfield game.
Wilfried Zaha remains unlikely to be involved on Saturday as he continues his recovery from injury.
Interestingly, Hodgson played Jairo Riedewald and Luka Milivojevic in front of his defence in the cup. Will he do that again at City?
While the second place Manchester United will visit Southampton in Week 6 of the Premier League on Saturday.
Leicester City takes on Liverpool at the King Power Stadium after Chelsea travel to Stoke City, and on Sunday, Newcastle United’s impressive run takes them to Brighton & Hove Albion.
On Monday, Arsenal welcomes West Bromwich Albion to the Emirates Stadium.
After losing their opening two games, Newcastle have remarkably won three Premier League matches in a row.
DO YOU KNOW?
- Chelsea has mustered seven headed attempts at goal, all of them by Alvaro Morata and he has scored with all three on target.
- Lionel Messi has scored his 300th goal for Barcelona at the Camp Nou (all competitions).
- Dele Alli has been fouled more often than any other player in the Premier League this season (22).
- Leeds United has won four of their last five penalty shootouts in the League Cup.
- Paulinho has scored two goals for Barcelona with his first two shots on target (all competitions).
- Bristol City has defeated top-flight opposition in two consecutive League Cup games for the first time in their history.
- Josh Murphy has had a hand in 10 goals in 11 League Cup appearances (eight goals, two assists).
- Shinji Okazaki has netted 4 goals in his last 7 apps for Leicester (all comps), more than his previous 33 combined (3).
- Patrick Bamford has scored two goals in both of his League Cup apps for Middlesbrough, with both goals coming from the penalty spot.
- Marko Arnautovic has provided two assists in a single game (all comps) for the first time since May 2015 for Stoke v Liverpool.
- Angelo Ogbonna has scored his first goal for West Ham since Feb 2016, ending a run of 46 games without a goal (all comps).
- Norwich is looking to reach the 4th round in three successive seasons for the first time since 1986-87 (a run of five seasons).
- Bournemouth is unbeaten in their last seven games against Brighton (W4 D3).
- Liverpool has won just one of their last five League Cup games against Premier League teams (D1 L3).
- Danny Welbeck has had a hand in 4 goals in the first 5 PL Match Days (3 goals, 1 assist); his best-ever start to a season.
- West Ham has conceded the most penalties in the Premier League over the course of the last three seasons (18).
- Burnley has blocked 50 opposition shots this season. The average for the 19 other teams is 16 blocks.