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Guardiola expects stern test at Selhurst Park as Manchester City faces Crystal Palace: Foden fit, Stones and Laporte return

Selhurst Park is widely known as one of the Premier League’s most hostile grounds, and Pep Guardiola is expecting a stern test for Manchester City this weekend when they face Crystal Palace on their own patch.

Guardiola insists that every game, whether it’s played at home or away in the English top-flight, is fraught with danger. This latest encounter against Crystal Palace will be no different.

Speaking about the game, Guardiola said, “In the Premier League, every game away is difficult. At home as well. But Selhurst Park always has been, yeah definitely. Crystal Palace always in the previous seasons, especially at home, we struggled a lot to get results.”

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Guardiola has great respect for Crystal Palace’s head coach, Patrick Vieira, who had an illustrious playing career at clubs such as Cannes, AC Milan, Arsenal, Juventus, Inter Milan, and Manchester City. Vieira has done a fantastic job as a manager with City EDS, New York City, Nice, and now Crystal Palace.

Patrick Vieira with Pep Guardiola

When asked about Vieira’s influence on the team, Guardiola said, “Well, I’ve not been with him to know exactly in the locker room. But his experience as a football player, a part of that he was in France, already have a big experience with Crystal Palace. He’s done a really good job.”

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Guardiola also revealed that he isn’t expecting any change to travel plans for the visit to Palace, despite the inclement weather currently gripping parts of the country. “The team manager organized the trip as usual. We will travel by plane in the early night, late afternoon. Hopefully, we can land safe and go to the hotel.”

Phil Foden credits quality for City's impressive FA Cup win against Bristol City and says he is Feeling 100% fit and comfortable

Guardiola confirmed that Phil Foden would be available for the Premier League clash with Crystal Palace on Saturday, despite injuring his foot in last week’s win over Newcastle United. John Stones, who has not played since January due to a hamstring injury, and Aymeric Laporte, who has missed recent games due to illness, were on the bench against Newcastle.

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Although the game gives an opportunity to close the gap on leaders Arsenal, who play the following day, Guardiola is expecting a testing trip. Palace has won just once since the World Cup, but they are unbeaten in their last four games against Liverpool, Brighton, Newcastle, and Manchester United.

So, football fans, get ready for a thrilling match between Crystal Palace and Manchester City at Selhurst Park this weekend! Watch the press conference via the video below.

Fidelis Musamba

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