When looking at the big picture, a three-game winning streak might not mean anything for Manchester City in terms of repeating as Premier League champions. However, the confidence generated from the club's current form is something they'd like to keep building.
City will also eye a sixth straight victory over all competitions on Saturday, when they host a Crystal Palace side that's undefeated over their last four league matches.
Since Dec. 11, City (15-2-5) have won nine of 10 games over all competitions. The only loss during that stretch came on Dec. 27 at Wolves, where the Citizens blew a 2-0 lead in falling 3-2. Since then within the top-flight, Man City own a 10-2 goal-advantage whilst beating Sheffield United, Everton and Aston Villa.
Six of those goals came at Villa last weekend, and left City second in the table. However, they are still 14 points behind runaway leaders Liverpool. But, continuing to improve and keep some quality form seem to be more realistic goals within the Premier League.
"I think we have always been there this season, even when we have lost games like at Norwich," manager Pep Guardiola told City's official website. "We created lots of chances - but maybe sometimes, maybe, we lost our incredible focus, occasionally, and after back to back titles, it is difficult with the reality of everything. But now, we are second and we are going to try and maintain this position until the end of the season."
Guardiola remains glad he has star Sergio Aguero to help with that cause. With a team-leading 13 league goals this season and a hat trick versus Villa, Aguero is the league's all-time scoring leader (177 goals) among foreign players. His 12 career hat tricks are also a record.
"To achieve this, he had to be consistent for many years, and this is an incredible compliment for him," Guardiola said. "The most important thing is that he is an incredible person. You cannot score this many goals or break so many records if you are not somebody who is happy to be with his teammates."
Aguero did not play in City's 2-0 road victory over Crystal Palace on Oct. 19, and only has three goals in nine career Premier League matches against the Eagles. City are 12-4-3 all-time versus Palace within the league, but last season lost to them for the first time in nine Premier League matches at home.
The Citizens have already lost twice at the Etihad this season.
Palace (7-8-7), ninth in the table, enter amidst a 3-5-1 league stretch, and 1-3-0 in their last four - featuring three consecutive 1-1 draws. The most recent coming at home versus Arsenal last weekend.
Jordan Ayew equalised on 54 minutes against the Gunners for his team-leading sixth league goal. However, the Eagles felt they should have collected the full three points after Arsenal went down to 10 men following Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's red card in the 67th minute.
"We (were) a bit frustrated," veteran defender Gary Cahill told Palace's official website.
Ayew has never scored in seven games over all competitions against Manchester City.