Competition: Premier League – Everton vs. Manchester City
Venue: Goodison Park – Sunday, January 15 – 13:30 GMT (08:30 ET)
Match Odds: Everton 16/5 – Draw 14/5 – Man City 4/5
This is going to be a test for Ronald Koeman’s men, they face a Manchester City side who will be desperate for a win, but they will know they have the ability to upset anyone at Goodison.
Everton are on a three-game unbeaten Premier League run. That recent run of form looks to have them back on track in the league after a difficult spell. They did however exit the FA Cup last weekend in a disappointing home loss, so a response is needed.
This is Everton’s second league home game in a row, they demolished Southampton 3-0 last time out and they have a great chance of a positive result if they put in an impressive display like that again.Embed from Getty Images
Manchester City have won three of their last five away games. Their last league game was a 2-1 home win against Burnley, an unconvincing performance intensified the pressure on Pep Guardiola.
While Pep is not one to panic, he is in new territory in his managerial career and needs to find a way to silence his doubters. A win here at a ground renowned for being difficult for the top sides to take points from would be a step in the right direction.
City have won five of their last six games in all competitions, including progressing in the FA Cup with a ruthless 5-0 win away against West Ham. The squad should be fresh as their last game will have been nine days previous by kick off on Sunday.
Guardiola’s side have work to do to close the gap at the top of the league. A loss here could potentially see them drop out of the top four and then the alarm bells would certainly be ringing amongst the fans. They need a big performance.Embed from Getty Images
Everton’s squad is littered with injuries, they could be without as many as eight players for this tie. Yannick Bolasie, Dominic Clavert-Lewin and Muhamed Besic are all out, while Maarten Stekelenburg, James McCarthy, Bryan Oviedo and Matthew Pennington are all doubts. Idrissa Gueye is on international duty at the African Cup of Nations.
Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gundogan remain long-term absentees for Manchester City, while Leroy Sane is a doubt. Fernandinho is also unavailable for selection as he remains suspended.
Everton’s last five: W/L/W/D/W
Manchester City’s last five: W/W//W/L/W
Key Stat: Everton are unbeaten in 12 of their last 13 Premier League games at Goodison Park.
Key Player: Sergio Aguero – The Argentine made the difference in City’s last Premier League game. A lot is going to be expected from him over the second half of the season given his side trail top spot by seven points. He can remind everyone that City are well in the title race by contributing to an impressive away victory here.
Everton 2-2 Manchester City – An action packed draw. Everton have caused plenty of the big sides trouble at Goodison down the years and City could fall victim to that fate once again here. City’s defensive issues have been well documented, it would be a surprise if they keep a clean sheet this weekend, given Everton’s free-flowing attacking play.