Manchester City vs. Everton preview, English Premier League
Manchester City host Everton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday in a match that seems highly predictable, with the Citizens expected to secure an easy home win. After bringing in the likes of Sergio Aguero, Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri to the club in the summer transfer window, Manchester City are notably stronger. The same cannot be said for Everton, who are struggling with lack of funds and poor form.
Everton defender Leighton Baines revealed his side were looking forward to the trip to Manchester City, after their recent five match unbeaten run. Despite the difference between the two sides, the 26-year-old felt his side could take on the Citizens and return with a decent result. So far Manchester City have managed to win all their fixtures, except for a draw against Fulham last weekend.
Baines said while speaking to reporters:
“It is a big game for us at the weekend because City have been doing well but we will take confidence from the results we have had against them in the past.
We will draw on that. We have a tough run of games over the next few weeks so it was important we kept our momentum going (with the win over West Brom).”
However, Baines was hopeful Everton’s past record against Manchester City would give his side the confidence to take on the side that was emerging as a top side this season. The Toffees have managed to win seven of their last eight fixtures, over four seasons, against Manchester City and Baines urged his side to build on the past results and try and earn a decent result on Saturday.
“We are fully aware that we treat every game individually so we won't take anything for granted.
We will use those past games against City for confidence but we have to go there and get whatever we get.”
Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko have been in terrific form, scoring 14 goals between them so far, and will be expected to continue their successful partnership on Saturday. David Silva and Samir Nasri will also be retaining their places in the starting line-up against Everton.
With James Milner and Nigel de Jong haven’t yet returned from injury, Gareth Barry and Yaya Toure will be occupying the remaining spot in midfield. Since Aleksandar Kolarov and Pablo Zabaleta having featured in the Carling Cup, Gael Clichy and Micah Richards could start over the weekend.
Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany will be in the heart of defence alongside Joleon Lescott, thus completing the Citizen’s back four. While Owen Hargreaves was highly impressive in mid-week, he is unlikely to get a start over the weekend. Mancini praised the striker for a terrific performance after returning from injury.
Mancini said in an interview:
“The crowd gave him a great reception. This guy deserves everything. After two years with so many injuries, for an important player like him to come back is really difficult.”
Phil Jagielka is expected to start after a terrific performance against Wigan last weekend, with either Sylvain Distin or Johnny Heitinga accompanying him. Leighton Baines will take his usual spot as the left-back, having done well enough to secure a place in the starting XI in the previous seasons.
A surprisingly injury free Marouane Fellaini will take his place in the midfield, with support from youngster Jack Rodwell. David Moyes could prefer Royston Drenthe over Diniyar Bilyaletdinov , with Leon Osman and Seamus Coleman filling up the remaining spots.
Victor Anichebe is out with a groin injury and is highly unlikely to return in time for the weekend clash, while Louis Saha will be left out because of a falling out with Moyes. This leaves Tim Cahill as the loan striker for the Toffees against Manchester City.
Joe Hart; Vincent Kompany, Joleon Lescott, Gael Clichy, Micah Richards; Gareth Barry, Yaya Toure, David Silva, Samir Nasri; Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko.
Tim Howard; Phil Jagielka, Sylvain Distin, Leighton Baines, Tony Hibbert; Jack Rodwell, Marouane Fellaini, Seamus Coleman, Royston Drenthe; Leon Osman, Tim Cahill.