Whatever the outcome of the huge match between Liverpool and Chelsea which precedes this clash, Manchester City’s need for the points will be far greater than hosts Crystal Palace while the Premier League title is still mathematically achievable.
Punters only have to be reminded of the way that City refused to give up on reeling neighbours Manchester United in, en-route to the 2011/12 title, when closing an eight-point gap in April to win it with the last kick of the season.
Throw into the mix that Palace’s 43-point haul now means they are safer than the proverbial houses; there is plenty of reason to believe Tony Pulis’ heroes can finally afford to take their foot off the gas.
All this makes the 4/9 price about an away win a very decent-looking bet, while 10/3 on the draw feels more plausible than the 6/1 about a sixth successive league victory.
By scooping every one of the last 15 points available to them, which includes wins over Chelsea and Everton, the overachieving Eagles have effectively earned the luxury of getting beaten.
It’s not to suggest any side run by Pulis will simply roll over and let their tummies be tickled, but considering what they’ve just achieved (by retaining their status), there would be absolutely no shame in losing to one of the Premier League’s best teams.
Worth noting that City have been doing much of their recent scoring before the break – four of their last five in the top-flight to be precise – so the 19/10 about the first 45 containing more Citizens’ goals looks ripe.
Meanwhile, at 3/1, Sergio Aguero has to be the pick of the potential deadlock breakers having returned to full fitness to score within 10 minutes against West Brom last time out.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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