Preview Crystal Palace V Hull City. Win or bust for Silva’s side

This game doesn’t need building up in any way because it is of monumental importance. Swansea have made the equation simple by doing what City couldn’t and beating already relegated Sunderland. That 2-0 win for the Swans means that if Marco Silva can’t mastermind City’s first away win since August, ironically at Swansea, then Hull City are heading back the Championship. A point would keep them mathematically alive but they would need a 7 goal swing on the final day. Beating Spurs might be possible but to hammer them is highly unlikely so it’s pretty simple really, win or bust!

Hull’s away form has been dismal as they have only won one game away from the KCOM this season in the Premier League. That was at the Liberty Stadium in the second game of the season and they have rarely threatened anyone away from home since. That has to change today. The form book needs to be thrown out of the window and City have to go for it. If they try to defend and hit Palace on the break they may well come up short. Sometimes in these situations you have to be brave and take the game by the scruff of the neck to get the result. Marco Silva will try his best to motivate his side to do just that.

Another problem for City is that their opponents are still not safe but a win today would ensure Big Sam’s side will be playing Premier League football again next season. Unlike a mid-table side who may have been playing in metaphorical flip flops the Palace players will want the win almost as much as the City players so it’s going to be a real battle. Palace had been enjoying a good run of form but they have lost their last 3 games including a 5-0 hammering at the hands of Man City last time out. In games like this anything can happen and If the City players can put in their best shift of the season they may just come away with the all important 3 points.

Team News: Marco Silva was dealt a blow this week as he discovered that Lazar Markovic will miss the final two games of the season with an ankle injury picked up against Sunderland. It got even worse yesterday on the injury front as Abel Hernandez confirmed via Instagram that he has also picked up an ankle injury and won’t be available to play at Palace.

One crumb of comfort for Silva will be the return of Omar Elabdellaoui who returns after 7 games out with a back injury.

Out: Abel Hernandez

The hosts are waiting until the last minute before deciding on the possible selection of several injury doubts. James Tomkins, Yohan Cabaye and Scott Dann are all doubts as are Andros Townsend who has an Achilles problem and Joel Ward who broke his nose at Manchester City last week.

Gamebreakers?: While there is no doubt that a brilliant team performance is needed tomorrow there are a couple of players who could make the difference for City tomorrow:

  • Oumar Niasse: City need goals tomorrow and with Hernandez and Markovic missing the responsibility is going to fall on the shoulders of Niasse. He enjoyed a decent period of goal scoring form after his loan move from Everton but he is without a goal since the 4-2 win over Middlesbrough 5 games ago. He needs to find his goal scoring form again tomorrow and with the PFA Player of the Month for April Kamil Grosicki providing the service from the wing he has a chance of doing so. He will need to be on hand to get on the end of his crosses like Christian Benteke will be trying to at the other end against our second game breaker.
Needs a goal: Oumar Niasse
  • Harry Maguire: Arguably City’s player of the season Maguire has influenced games at both ends of the pitch the season. He has been excellent at the back and has scored some very important goals at the other end. Another of those goals today would be fantastic but his main priority along with Andrea Ranocchia will be to keep Benteke quiet. Palace’s big striker is lethal in the 6 yard box on the floor and in the air so the City centre backs will have a real battle on against him. If Maguire can keep him quiet it will go a long way towards City getting a positive result.
Can he keep Benteke Quiet?: Harry Maguire

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