It’s safe to say 2017 has been a good year for Manchester City. Although the Blues haven’t won a trophy in the past 12 months, they have clearly made some amazing progress and will enter 2018 as the undisputed best team in England and capable of winning multiple titles, domestic or European.
Pep Guardiola has more than proven he can do it his way in English football, and the City boss has gotten his team to play a brand of football we have never seen in the 25 years of the Premier League. The Blues are on an 18-game winning run that seems to have no end, and the league title seems to be a foregone conclusion at this point. And it’s the last day of December, with five months and 18 matches to go.
Now it’s about finishing the job, and showing that the progress in 2017 will not be stopped in the new year. City face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park not only looking to win 19 in a row and be 16 points clear at the top of the table, but also to finish what could be the year that changes City forever with one more win.
MATCH INFO, TV/STREAMING
Date/Time: Sunday, December 31, 2017, 12pm GMT (UK), 1pm WAT (Nigeria), 7am ET, 4am PT (USA), 5:30pm IST (India)
Venue: Selhurst Park, London, England
Television: BT Sport 1 (UK), NBCSN (USA), TSN2 (Canada), SuperSport 3 (Nigeria), Star Sports Select 1 (India)
(Listings via LiveSoccerTV)
As the new year approaches, the injuries are going away and the squad is getting bigger ahead of the home stretch of the season. That’s obviously great news for the next five months, but also for the next few days: City play Palace and then Watford in a span of 48 hours, so having a big squad will allow Pep to rotate and still have strong teams for both matches.
We could see John Stones, Fabian Delph and David Silva all back to face Palace, and players like Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan are always ready to step up. It’s hard to predict which team Pep will choose on Sunday, but expect a strong side to beat the Eagles.
Manchester City (4-3-3)
Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Mangala, Delph; De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva; Sterling, Jesus, Sané
Crystal Palace (4-1-4-1)
Speroni; Fosu-Mensah, Dann, Tomkins, Van Aanholt; Milivojevic; Townsend, McArthur, Riedewald, Puncheon; Sako
This won’t be easy again, but we’ll end the year on a high: 2-0 City.