It is the time of the year when injuries and fitness concerns bite even the top teams and that is certainly the case for Liverpool at the moment. With both first choice right backs, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez, our injured and Nathaniel Clyne sent out on loan, the Reds had James Milner once again as a makeshift right back against West Ham on Monday Night.
Then the Reds hopes were hit with the news that Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum were both unfit to play, meaning that Fabinho, Keita and Lallana provided a new look in midfield for the Reds and in truth, it didn’t really work, as they could only manage a 1-1 draw at West Ham to follow their 1-1 draw with Leicester in the midweek fixtures.
That result means that after their 3-1 victory over Arsenal at the weekend, Manchester City need to win at Everton in their midweek rearranged fixture to move to the top of the Premier League on goal difference. Albeit, they will have played one game more than Liverpool have in the competition.
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Let’s now take a closer look at Wednesday night’s clash on Merseyside.
Everton v Manchester City Preview
Everton (last 10 games in all competitions)
V Wolves (H) – L 1-3
V Huddersfield (A) – W 1-0
V Millwall (A) – L 2-3 (FA Cup)
V Southampton (A) – L 1-2
V Bournemouth (H) – W 2-0
V Lincoln City (H) – W 2-1 (FA Cup)
V Leicester City (H) – L 0-1
V Tottenham (H) – L 2-6
V Manchester City (A) – L 1-3
V Watford (H) – D 2-2
Last Ten Record – Won – 3, Drew 1, Lost 6. For 14, Against – 21.
Marco Silva’s Everton have had a bit of a torrid time of late at home, losing three of their last four home games in the Premier League, conceding 10 goals in the process. The only win in that run came against Bournemouth in a game which was a lot more evenly contested than the 2-0 scoreline suggests.
Clearly Marco Silva has plenty of work to do to get Everton in shape for this massive game with City. While the Toffees are not in any threat of relegation, they are also falling far behind the top six and that is something that will certainly irk Evertonians, especially after some heavy investment in the team over the last 12 months or so.
Everton have a relatively decent home record against Manchester City in recent times, but City have held the upper hand in this fixture home and away in the last few years and it is fair to say that the home side will go into this fixture as the heavy underdogs, but often that is when Everton have performed at their best.
V Burton (A) – W 1-0 (Carabao Cup Semi Final 2nd Leg)
V Huddersfield (A) – W 3-0
V Wolves (H) – W 3-0
V Burton (H) – W 9-0 (Carabao Cup Semi Final 1st Leg)
V Rotherham (H) – W 7-0 (FA Cup)
V Liverpool (H) – W 2-1
V Southampton (A) – W 3-1
Last Ten Record – Won 9, Drew 0, Lost 1 – For 37 Against 8
The shock defeat to Newcastle United apart, Manchester City have been in imperious form in their last ten games, rattling in a staggering number of goals and generally keeping the opposition at an arms length.
Guardiola will need to use his full squad depth over the coming weeks as City remain involved in four competitions, the Carabao Cup Final is coming up (against Chelsea) which necessitated this fixture being switched to this week, while they remain in the FA Cup and have a Champions League Round of 16 match against Schalke 04 on the horizon on top of their Premier League commitments.
I do expect Guardiola to make some changes to the team that beat Arsenal at the weekend and I’d expect Aguero to drop to the bench for Gabriel Jesus to come in, while I feel Sane will also start on the left and Fernandinho will move into midfield allowing Stones to come in to central defence. I think De Bruyne and Aguero will both be rested for this game.
Manchester City Predicted XI – (4-3-3) – Ederson, Walker, Laporte, Otamendi, Stones, Fernandinho, Silva.D, Silva.B, Sane, Sterling, Jesus
Everton v Man City – Analysis
This is a game I see unfolding in only one way. I don’t think Everton have the confidence at the moment to take the game to City as they did when beating them 4-0 a couple of seasons ago. Poor home form means I feel the Toffees will be more defensive minded, but the problem with that is I think that plays into City’s hands.
City are at their best when they dominate possession and hit teams with their pace and inventive passing and when they have lots of possession, that is exactly what they do and I feel that is what will be the unfolding scenario in this game.
When City do dominate I feel they will make the breakthrough in the first half. I can see Everton looking dangerous at set pieces and also on the break, but I think City’s dominance will be such that even if Everton do score, City will still run out comfortable winners.
Full Time Result Tip – Man City to win – 3/10.
In terms of the score of the game, I do think Everton will get a goal but It will mainly be a consolation and as such, I am expecting City to run out relatively easy winners on the night.
Correct Score Tip – Everton 1-3 Manchester City – 10/1
Ian has been a lifelong avid poker player, and is also well-versed in the worlds of online sports betting, casino gaming, and the burgeoning eSports industry. UK-based Ian has written for several years for a wide variety of online publications, and is especially adept at bringing readers inside the latest and greatest games.