If any side was going to break Brighton & Hove Albion’s defensive resilience, it was free-scoring Man City, who chalked up a quartet of goals on the South Coast to ease to a 4-1 victory over Graham Potter’s men last weekend.
Phil Foden bagged a brace while Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez also found the back of the net at the Amex Stadium, with Alexis Mac Allister’s penalty proving to be little more than a consolation for the home side.
However, Foden went from hero zero as City’s quest of an unprecedented fifth EFL Cup crown in succession came to an end in midweek, with the England starlet failing to convert from 12 yards as West Ham United advanced to the quarter-finals.
Pep Guardiola certainly has bigger fish to fry than the EFL Cup, though, as third-placed City seek to keep the pressure on Liverpool and Chelsea, who are one and two points ahead of them in the top three of the table respectively.
Now unbeaten in eight Premier League games since their opening-day defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, City’s tally of 12 goals on home soil is the second-best record in the league behind Chelsea’s 16, and they are the only team in the division yet to concede on familiar territory so far this term.
Crystal Palace were not involved in midweek EFL Cup action following their August defeat at the hands of Watford, which has given Patrick Vieira ample time to figure out a way to end his side’s run of stalemates in the Premier League.
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After sharing the points with Brighton, Leicester City and Arsenal, the Palace faithful harboured hopes of a long-awaited win when Christian Benteke put them ahead against Newcastle United, but Callum Wilson equalised just nine minutes later in the second half to force another stalemate for Palace.
The Eagles’ failure to convert one point into three has bedevilled them in the past few weeks, and Vieira’s side currently sit 15th in the Premier League as a result but are five points clear of the dotted line, despite claiming just one win so far this season.
Finding the back of the net is not the problem for Vieira’s crop – who have scored in six of their last seven Premier League games – but failure to shut up shop at the other end has seen them concede 10 goals away from home already this season – not a good omen before a daunting trip to the home of the champions.