Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira could start Wilfried Zaha up front against Manchester City on Monday night, according to The Athletic‘s Matt Woosnam.
The 11th-placed Eagles are looking to complete an unlikely double over the Premier League leaders under the lights at Selhurst Park tonight.
Last time out, in the 2-0 victory away to Wolves, Vieira deployed Zaha in the left-wing role in a 4-2-3-1 formation. It was Jean-Philippe Mateta who led the line and opened the scoring for Palace midway through the first half at Molineux.
Ahead of tonight’s match against Pep Guardiola’s side, Woosnam was asked by one of The Athletic‘s subscribers, who floated the possibility of Zaha playing up front, whether Vieira would change a winning team.
In response to that suggested tactical tweak from the manager, the journalist replied: “I think he will, but mainly because it’s Man City. Wonder if Zaha plays up top with Olise wide right.”
Zaha has started as a centre forward on four occasions this season, including in the reverse fixture when Palace won 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium in October. Odsonne Edouard and Jordan Ayew started either side of him that day, and perhaps that will be the blueprint that Vieira looks to follow for tonight.
If the Ivory Coast international is moved to a centre-forward role, that could see Mateta being sacrificed. It would be slightly harsh to drop the £53.4k-per-week Frenchman to the bench given that he has scored in four of his last seven starts across all competitions, but the hope may be that he can still unsettle the Manchester City defence if he is called upon as a substitute.
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