Manchester City makes their trip to Merseyside to face Everton as Pep Guardiola’s charges look to keep pace with league leaders Liverpool at the top.
Marco Silva’s future has been called into question since last week. The Portuguese manager, despite all his excellent work at Goodison Park, is under tremendous pressure after Everton’s dismal run of form in the Premier League. Despite the Merseysiders managing a decent win in the Carabao Cup, they have lost their last two league games against Sheffield United and Bournemouth.
With another loss in the league, Everton might find themselves closer than ever to the relegation zone, something their hierarchy are keen to avoid and might consider a change of manager imminently. However, a good result against Manchester City and a decent run of games could save the Portuguese’ job. It could also lift Everton’s confidence and bring relief from the immense pressure.
All those things could be achievable, but they now face a rampant Manchester City side who are fresh from thumping Watford 8-0 last weekend. That great result will have all Premier League sides in fear of facing Manchester City for their current form, and Everton might feel the wrath of the Champions.
Manchester City were also in Carabao Cup action during midweek, when they dispatched Preston quite comfortably in a 3-0 win. Guardiola’s side will be aiming to sweep Everton aside and keep their focus on the other team from Merseyside that occupies the top spot on the table. City remain 6-points behind Liverpool in the standings and will be looking to close the gap, if only temporarily.
Team News & Tactics
Midfielders Andre Gomes and Jean-Philippe Gbamin remain absent for the Manchester City game. However, Silva did field a strong lineup during midweek, and there are indications he might stick to many from the side for the Premier League game. Former Manchester City star Fabian Delph looks set for a central midfield role against his old team, with Tom Davies by his side.
Mason Holgate and Michael Keane are likely to be preferred in central defence, with Lucas Digne and Seamus Coleman providing support from full-back roles. Former Arsenal star Alex Iwobi is set to start on the left side of the attack, while Richarlison will take up a position on the other side of the pitch.
Gylfi Sigurdsson will play in the No. 10 role behind Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who is set for a central striking role against Manchester City.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Holgate, Digne; Davies, Delph; Richarlison, Sigurdsson, Iwobi; Calvert-Lewin
Since Manchester City are playing the best football in the division, it is a bit of a headache for Pep Guardiola to select his players. Defensive problems still remain for Guardiola as Aymeric Laporte, and John Stones are out with injuries. The situation could force the Manchester City boss to field Fernandinho and Nicolas Otamendi as his central defenders yet again.
Kyle Walker is an option, but the manager will keep him at right-back, meaning Joao Cancelo will remain on the bench. On the other side, Benjamin Mendy, who is now match fit, might get the nod over Oleksandr Zinchenko. In central midfield, Ilkay Gundogan start instead of David Silva, who Guardiola might want to play in the Champions League next week.
Kevin De Bruyne will return to the midfield, with Rodrigo the preferred player to start in the defensive midfield role. Guardiola might retain Raheem Sterling, who should be back in a Premier League lineup after missing the Watford game.
Bernardo Silva, who played the entire 90 minutes against Preston might be in for a rest, meaning Riyad Mahrez could start. Sergio Aguero will undoubtedly start in front of goal.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Fernandinho, Otamendi, Mendy; De Bruyne, Rodrigo, Gundogan; Mahrez, Aguero, Sterling
- Everton have won just one of their last 12 Premier League matches against Manchester City (W1 D4 L7), hammering City 4-0 at Goodison Park in January 2017.
- Manchester City are looking to win four consecutive league matches against Everton for the first time since March 1972.
- Everton have won 10 home Premier League matches against reigning champions – only Liverpool have won more (13)
- Manchester City have scored 24 goals in their opening six league games this season – the most by a top-flight team in the opening six matches of a season since Wolves in 1955-56 (25 goals).
- Manchester City have scored in each of their last 28 Premier League games – only Arsenal (55 between 2001-2002) and Manchester United (36 in 2008) have scored in a longer run of consecutive matches in the competition.
Player to Watch
It was far from a surprise when Manchester City hit eight goals past Watford last weekend, and they did that without Raheem Sterling in the side. However, the forward is expected to be in the team for this weekend, and he sure will look to make an immediate impact on the manager.
Sterling has been instrumental in the last two title triumphs and has sure started this season as one of Manchester City’s premier attackers. He will be hoping to continue on his rich form and make another statement when his side plays Everton. Will Sterling be impactful yet again?
Everton 1-3 Manchester City
Going by form or reputation, no doubt is likely to come out of this clash with all three points. Everton are struggling badly at the moment. The increased pressure on their managers is not helping matters on the field. With Manchester City coming at this particular time, and the form that they are in, will not inject any sense of confidence in Everton or Marco Silva.
Manchester City will continue on their impressive form and take three points at Goodison Park. The Merseysiders may look to score a few goals but will be no match to the quality City possess. ExpectPep Guardiola’s team to take all three points in a rather convincing fashion against Everton.