- Reuters / Phil Noble
Manchester City will play hosts to lowly Crystal Palace at the Etihad and will look to regain the top spot in the Premier League.
City and manager Manuel Pellegrini maintained their perfect home record after defeating Liverpool 2-1 on Boxing Day. First-half goals by captain Vincent Kompany and Alvaro Negredo overturned an early 1-0 deficit.
''That's the hardest game so far. Liverpool are a good team so it's great for us,'' Kompany said after the match. ''It's a weird (title race) because all the teams started a little slowly.''
Palace boss Tony Pulis is well aware of the challenge facing his side, which has been outscored 14-5 in losing seven of nine Premier League road fixtures. Pulis showed that he is still able to keep the mood light given the club's recent poor performances.
"It's a long way to go and it's a hard season and nobody knows that better than me," Pulis said during a press conference. "We've got an easy game at Man City, when is it, in two days time, they're averaging about four and a half, five goals a game, so we know how difficult it's going to be."
Palace is one spot above relegation with 16 points after responding to a 3-0 defeat to Newcastle on Saturday. Thursday's match seemed headed for a draw before substitute Dwight Gayle's 90th-minute goal gave the Eagles all three points.
"We've made up really for the performance at Newcastle and as I said to them afterwards, they owed themselves that just for that performance against Newcastle when we weren't at it," Pulis added.
Victory over Aston Villa on Boxing Day saw Palace climb out of the bottom three, and continue their improvement under the new regime.
The Eagles have kept five clean sheets in their last eight Premier League encounters, and have taken nine points from the last 18, but a point from City won't be easy.
Kick off for the match is at 10:00 a.m. ET and can be watched online here.