Pellegrini insists teams haven’t worked out Manchester City

Sam Nightingale
Man City boss Manuel Pellegrini has denied Premier League rivals have worked his team out.

Manuel Pellegrini: Has denied rivals have worked his team out.

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has denied Premier League rivals have worked his team out as they prepare to face Crystal Palace.

City were held to a goalless draw by Everton on Wednesday despite dominating the chances and remain three points behind league leaders Arsenal.

But Pellegrini is confident that was an aberration, saying: “One of the things this team is not is predictable. We have so many different ways to play – with two strikers, with one striker, without strikers.

“We’ve changed the tactical system a lot of times so I think we continue being, after three seasons when I’m in charge, the top scoring team of the Premier League. Not only at home but away also, we always try to be an offensive team.

“If we don’t score once, having 17 shots at goal, it’s just an accident, but I don’t think it’s because our rivals know the way they must play.

“Not one team in the Premier League has played against our team hand to hand, they are always waiting for us, with eight or nine players behind the ball near their box. We try to make the movement to create space.”

City face Crystal Palace on Saturday for the third time this season.

They secured a late win in the league at Selhurst Park in September before a very convincing 5-1 victory in the Capital One Cup.

Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho has scored in both games, and Pellegrini could be tempted to give him more game time this weekend.

The City boss said: “I always say with young players, if they are working every day with the team and they play some games, they must take their chance, and I think every time Kelechi has played, he has done very well.

“We talked to the FA last season to have his work permit (sorted) because I especially think he will be a very important player.”

Pellegrini will select from the same squad that faced Everton, with Vincent Kompany, Eliaquim Mangala, Fernandinho, Samir Nasri and Wilfried Bony all still out.