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Premier League Preview: Everton vs Manchester City

Written By Jacobs Dunga 

Everton this season have found themselves in an unfamiliar territory following an uneventful first half of the season under former Kop, Rafa Benitez who couldn’t produce the type of magic he did at the red half of Merseyside. The Toffees are just two points above the relegation zone having already lost thirteen games this season twelve of which have come in the last sixteen games. Frank Lampard who replaced the Spaniard started brightly with a comfortable win in the FA Cup but has posted indifferent results in the Premier League with one home victory and two away losses. They’ll will be hoping, albeit almost implausible, to return to winning ways on Saturday against reigning champions Manchester City to help themselves away from the relegation territories.


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Manchester City we’re on a rollercoaster just before last Sunday’s game at home to Tottenham Hotspur, the Citizens had won fourteen of their last fifteen Premier League games and hadn’t lost a game since October. Tottenham however had other ideas as they inflicted an unlikely defeat on the Pep Guardiola led side who’re now just three points above Liverpool who occupy the second spot on the log. Fully aware of the threat from Jurgen Klopp’s men and still to an encounter to negotiate against the Reds later in the season, Manchester City will be bent on returning to winning ways at the first time of asking or risk losing their spot at the top of the pile.

TEAM NEWS

Frank Lampard will be without defender Yerry Mina and Ben Godfrey as well as the duo of midfielders Tom Davies and Fabian Delph.

Oleksandr Zinchenko is in the right frame of mind to play in this game despite his country being invaded by Russian troops earlier in the week.

Both Demarai Gray and Abdoulaye Doucoure took part in training during the week after spending time on the sidelines due to different injuries.

Jack Grealish and Gabriel Jesus have been passed fit for Saturday’s encounter at Goodison Park.

STYLE

Lampard seems undecided on what system would best suits his new crop of players, the former Chelsea boss who is a fan of possession football has tried three different formations in just four games in charge of the Toffees. Each set up has produced victories, more reason why we just cannot say what to expect from the erstwhile England international.

Manchester City are playing arguably the best football in the world today. The dynamism of their 4-3-3 is a beauty and the way they transition in numbers has been the highlight of this great setup. Pep Guardiola is a demanding coach that’s always asking for more and this is one reason why City are unplayable in some games.

FORM

Everton have struggled all season if there be any reason to properly describe what a season they’re having, the blue team of Merseyside are sixteenth on the log, two points off relegation and have won just three of the last eighteen points on offer in the Premier League.

Pep Guardiola will approach this game as a wounded lion no doubt, the Citizens saw their fifteen game unbeaten run in the league brought to an abrupt end by Antonio Conte’s Tottenham Hotspur at home last Sunday. Only a win against Everton will preserve their status as the favorites for the title.

HEAD RO HEAD

Everton have failed to score in the last three defeats to City after scoring one each in the three losses before then.

Guardiola lost on his first visit to Goodison Park by four unreplied goals but have won on each of his next five visits.

The Toffees are still looking for their first victory over City since a 4-0 thumping back in 2017.

There have been 176 previous meetings between both clubs with Everton having won 60 of those to City’s 72 victories.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

January signing, Dele Alli despite not starting a game yet could use this as an opportunity to endear himself to the Everton fans.

Gabriel Jesus will be back in action today and will want to immediately get back among the goals.

Both Richarlison and Dominic Calvert Lewin had quiet games against Southampton but should still get the chance to start together on Saturday to show how dangerous they both could be.

READ ALSO: From Champions To Fighting For Top Four: What’s Wrong With Atlético Madrid?

Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez as well as Bernardo Silva are the players that have been making things happen in the City frontline recently.

VERDICT

City will do everything to return to their very best and extend their advantage over Liverpool before they play on Sunday.

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