Pep Guardiola has already told Patrick Vieira what his Crystal Palace side can do to rile Manchester City in their Premier League clash on Monday night.
The Eagles have occasionally been a thorn in Guardiola’s side in recent years, with Roy Hodgson previously and now Vieira both taking points off the league leaders at the Etihad.
Palace’s 2-0 win over City in October saw them go 1-0 up after just six minutes when Wilfried Zaha fired past Ederson before Aymeric Laporte was sent off for hauling the Ivorian down as the last man.
Conor Gallagher then confirmed the win late on when he finished off a fast counter following constant City pressure for most of the second half, despite their numerical disadvantage.
After the game, Guardiola told reporters in his post-match press conference that Palace had performed similarly to Hodgson’s sides of previous years and was clearly frustrated City weren’t able to deal with it.
“It’s quite similar from the last few seasons when Crystal Palace came here under Hodgson,” bemoaned the Spaniard. “We lost one game one year, we drew another one.
“It’s always the same process. [They] take time to control the rhythm, the goalkeeper takes out all the momentum.
“Long-balls up to [Jordan] Ayew, [Christian] Benteke or Zaha – they are all good linking the ball and then they defend really well too.
“They defend with solidarity, they close the gaps and they block the shots. They have a good structure defensively with their centre-backs plus the three players in midfield defending, winning duels and blocks.
“After, they use the counter-attack with Zaha and the other fast players they have – it’s been difficult for us against them.”
James McArthur – who played in the wins at the Etihad under Hodgson and Vieira – told football.london after the win that Palace needed several things to go their way in order to get one over on the Premier League champions.
“You need to play well to win,” he said. “ It’s a great team you’re playing against and you need to get lucky a bit as well.
“Both times now we have got that luck on our side and we’ve made sure we take those chances.
“It’s about making sure that you get those blocks in and you get those last tackles in and when you get a chance, you take it.”
McArthur might be unavailable for the return of City to Selhurst Park on Monday evening, with the Scotsman having missed the 2-0 win at Wolves last Saturday due to an injury.
Vieira didn’t go into detail on the extent of the injury, although fans will likely find out more about the squad’s fitness on Thursday when the Palace boss speaks to the media.