STAR PREVIEW: Everton v Man City

The old saying is that form is temporary but that class is permanent, and few teams are a better living example of this than Manchester City. The Citizens fell to an ever so rare defeat against Norwich a fortnight ago when they perhaps looked vulnerable for the first time in months, but they have responded with a vengeance and are long odds on for their trip to Everton today.

Guardiola’s men suffered badly for the absence of Aymeric Laporte at Carrow Road, and they will surely miss him and John Stones at some point in the next month, but the way they have roared back to form since suggests that they will be fine for the majority of that period.

City breezed past Shakhtar Donetsk 3-0 in the Champions League, with Otamendi partnering Fernandinho at centre back & Riyad Mahrez, Ilkay Gündogan and Gabriel Jesus on the scoresheet, but their 8-0 demolition of Watford was truly extraordinary and served a real statement to the rest of the league.

City struck five times in the first 18 minutes thanks to goals from David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Riyad Mahrez, and Bernardo Silva. Silva would go onto have a hat-trick by the time an hour was played. Nicolas Otamendi and Kevin De Bruyne put the gloss on the score.

Guardiola might have only the one defender but his embarrassing amount of riches going forward makes life a nightmare for opposition manager and even when making changes for the Carabao Cup, Raheem Sterling & Gabriel Jesus scored whilst David and Bernardo Silva also started in a 3-0 win at Preston.

Everton v Man City
Premier League
17:30 Sky Sports Premier League / Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Ultra HD

HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches, Since 2000)
FEB 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Everton 0-2 Manchester City
DEC 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 3-1 Everton
MAR 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Everton 1-3 Manchester City
AUG 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 1-1 Everton
JAN 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Everton 4-0 Man City
OCT 2016 PREMIER LEAUGUE Man City 1-1 Everton
JAN 2016 CAPITAL ONE CUP Man City 3-1 Everton
JAN 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Man City 0-0 Everton
JAN 2016 CAPITAL ONE CUP Everton 2-1 Man City
AUG 2015 PREMIER LEAGUE Everton 0-2 Man City

Everton have plenty of talent on paper, so it must be extremely frustrating that Marco Silva is getting no change out of his side so far this season. They deserved more from their 2-0 defeat to Sheffield United last week when the approach play of Richarlison, Moise Kean, Bernard and Gylfi Sigurdsson was brilliant but they managed just three shots on target between them.

That was the fourth straight Premier League game when Marco Silva – who is now favourite to be the next manager to leave his job – had seen his side concede at least two times and if one extends this to their EFL Cup victory against Lincoln then that’s five straight games before their 2-0 win against Sheffield Wednesday in the EFL Cup when the Toffees had seen the opposition score twice.

Such defending against City will be severely punished, and it’s no surprise the visitors are long odds on. If the hosts can target City on the break and run at their two defenders, then there’s half a hope of them getting on the scoresheet with their quality, but the visitors should be too strong.

There are many ways to support the visitors, but the one goal handicap could be the simplest and best route. City have already beaten West Ham (5-0), Bournemouth (3-1) and Brighton (4-0) by more than one goal this season in the Premier – not forgetting their demolition of Watford or their easy Champions League win in Ukraine – and they have the firepower to do the same again here.

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