Premier League Preview and Prediction: Everton vs Manchester City

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

Match Preview

Everton play host to Manchester City on Sunday with The Toffees looking to extend their Premier League unbeaten run to four games.

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.

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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.

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Team News

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.

Key Points

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.

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Score Prediction

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.

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Chelsea vs Everton

Competition: Premier League – Chelsea vs. Everton

Venue: Stamford Bridge – Saturday, November 5 – 17:30 GMT (13:30 ET) 

Match Odds: Chelsea 8/15 – Draw 16/5 – Everton 19/4 

Match Preview

Chelsea welcome Everton to Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening in a fixture that has produced some classic matches full of goals in recent times.

Antonio Conte’s side continued their winning streak last weekend with their 2-0 victory over Southampton, it was their fourth consecutive Premier League win without conceding a goal.

If history is anything to go by we could be in for plenty of action in this one as there have been 23 goals in the last six meetings between the sides in all competitions.

Chelsea will want to go into the international break preserving their defensive record and will see this as a chance to increase their winning run to five games.

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Everton ended their four-game winless run with their 2-0 victory over West Ham last time out, but they know they have a tough game on their hands here.

Ronald Koeman’s side trail Chelsea by just four points heading into this one. They have had a strong opening ten games (W5-D3-L2) and look capable of pushing for the top six this season.

Everton have struggled for positive results at Stamford Bridge, they have failed to win away against Chelsea in their last 22 attempts. This would be an ideal time to put that unwanted run to an end.

The Toffees can take heart in the fact that they have scored at least twice in their last three matches against Chelsea. If they can breach the three-man backline they will be within a great chance of picking up a favourable result.

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Team News

Conte is likely to be without four players through injury as Cesc Fabregas, John Obi Mikel, Kurt Zouma and Marco van Ginkel remain in their recovery period.

Everton’s injury list seems to continue to worsen as Leighton Baines, Arouna Kone, Muhamed Besic, Tyias Browning, James McCarthy and Matthew Pennington are all expected to remain out. Idrissa Gueye is serving his one-game suspension.

Key Points

Chelsea’s last five: L/W/W/W/W

Everton’s last five: L/D/D/L/W

Key Stat: Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 22 home games against Everton in all competitions.

Key Player: David Luiz – Much was made of Chelsea resigning Luiz. The Brazilian has played an integral role since Chelsea switched to 3-4-3 and looks a far more mature player since returning to the club. The fan-favourite is showing both leadership qualities and passion that Chelsea lacked last season.

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Score Prediction

Chelsea 1-0 Everton – The Blues have been on an incredible run of form in the Premier League. They have looked far more resilient defensively and have the ability to make it five clean sheets in a row this weekend.

Are Everton be right to be chasing this £30m rated United star?

New Everton boss Ronald Koeman is looking to bring in one more attacking midfielder before the start of the new season according to The Times. The club have moved quickly to use some of the money raised by the £47.5 million sale of John Stones.

The paper suggests Mata will push for an exit from Manchester United with the Everton manager keen on trying to sign the 28-year-old midfielder, despite the fact that United have stated he is not for sale.

Mata’s unstable relationship with manager Jose Mourinho was thrown into the melting pot once again as he was subbed off after being subbed on in the Community Shield final last weekend.

So what could Mata bring to Everton?

Experience:

Mata has a wealth of experience at the highest level. He featured in the Spanish World Cup and European Championship winning sides and he has also won the UEFA Champions League.

At just 28 years old his is now heading into his prime and has already played a staggering 418 domestic career games, racking up 107 goals and 130 assists.

Utility:

The Manchester United man can play as a number ten as well as a left or right sided midfielder. Although Mata isn’t blessed with blistering pace, his ability to hold onto the ball and pick passes makes him a great option in any position in the final third.

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Set pieces:

Mata has a knack of scoring free kicks and creating chances from set pieces. One of his most notable assists from a set piece was in the Champions League final of 2012.

Temptation:

Signing a world class star like Mata arguably increases the possibility to sign other players. The Spaniard has close relationships with players at United, Chelsea and a whole host of Spanish league clubs.

Consistency:

Mata averages a goal ratio of just over one in four and he has contributed directly to 237 goals in his 418 domestic career appearances. His Premier League statistics to date make him an ideal player for any club. In the 168 games he has featured in he has scored 38 goals and registered 48 assists. He also has an incredible record in the FA Cup, where he has scored 12 goals in 23 games and registered nine assists.

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While it is unclear whether Everton will make a move for Mata or if United would overturn their decision to make their midfielder unavailable in this transfer window, he would offer a lot to the Merseyside club.

Would Mata be a good signing for Everton? Will Manchester United let the Spaniard leave this summer?

2014/15 Premier League Season Review: Everton

Premier League Final Position: 11th

Review

Participation in the Europa League has undoubtedly hindered Everton’s performances this season and they just haven’t managed to replicate the kind of form that saw them finish fifth with 72 points last time around. While the Toffees can’t blame their below par season entirely on the fact they had European commitments, it’s certainly been a major factor with ten extra games to play. Roberto Martinez isn’t a man to make excuses and he will know that the league form hasn’t been good enough with just 12 wins all season – their lowest number of victories in a season since the 2003/04 campaign when they recorded nine. Everton’s 11th place finish was also their worst final league position since 2005/06 when they also finished 11th.

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Podcast Review

Best Moment

Easing past Manchester United at Goodison Park – Everton’s 3-0 victory against United at the end of April signified their best spell of the season. That win extended a mini-unbeaten run to six games (W5, D1) and was also the highest placed team in the league which they managed to secure all three points against. It was one of the few highlights of a fairly average campaign.

Worst Moment

The 2-0 defeat away at Hull City – Everton arrived in Yorkshire on New Year’s Day with hopes of turning a corner and using 2015 as a fresh start. It wasn’t to be and a poor performance led to a defeat that came in a barren mid-season run of 16 games that saw them win just twice (D5, L9). It was also the fourth straight defeat at the time and a sixth loss in eight games – an ultimate low point.

Player of the Year

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Romelu Lukaku – Although the big Belgian striker hasn’t had the greatest season, he’s still been one of Everton’s brightest sparks throughout the campaign. He’s scored ten goals and made five assists in 36 Premier League appearances, which isn’t in a bad return for an Everton side that never got going.

Biggest Win

Everton 3-0 Aston Villa (Oct 18, 2014)

Everton 3-0 Newcastle United (Mar 15, 2015)

Everton 3-0 Manchester United (Apr 26, 2015)

Biggest Defeat

Everton 3-6 Chelsea (Aug 30, 2015)

Southampton 3-0 Everton (Dec 20, 2015)

What to improve for the 2015/16 season…

It seems obvious, but Everton’s defensive frailties this season were a real concern. They conceded 50 goals, which is 11 more than last season and their worst defensive record for 11 years. This is clearly a key area to improve on, as well as trying to take more points from the tougher teams in the league. The Toffees only won two games against top nine opponents (D6, L11) – a worrying record for a side that has come so close to finishing in the top four on numerous occasions.