Everton - Manchester City Preview: David Moyes' men looking to make it seven wins out of eight against their Champions League chasing visitors
Roberto Mancini's side are on the brink of Champions League football, and will be looking to overcome a Toffees side against whom they have a terrible record in recent years
By Jonathan Birchall
|Everton (4-4-1-1): Howard; Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Osman, Neville, Rodwell, Arteta; Cahill; Beckford.
Marouane Fellaini and Louis Saha (both ankle) are certainties to miss out through injury and it may just be too soon for John Heitinga, who is looking to overcome hamstring trouble.
|Manchester City (4-3-3): Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov; De Jong, Barry, Toure; Johnson, Balotelli, Silva.||
Germany international Jerome Boateng (knee) is still out with injury, as is Micah Richards (hamstring) who is unlikely to feature again this season.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Everton have picked up six wins in their last seven Premier League games against these opponents.
- David Moyes' side have scored in all but two of their last 14 games against the Eastlands outfit.
- The Toffees have only let in five goals in the last 15 minutes of their games in the league this season.
- This fixture has only yielded one draw in the league since 2003.
- Manchester City have the joint highest amount of clean sheets in the league this season with 15, and have played a game less than fellow leaders Manchester United and Chelsea.
- A win for City at Goodison Park would leave both sides having beaten the other 63 times in all competitions.
- The visitors have the worst disciplinary record in the Premier League, having picked up 70 yellow cards and five red cards.
- Roberto Mancini's men have only picked up four points from a possible 18 in their last six away fixtures in the Premier League.
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Top 3 Predictions
Everton 2-1 Manchester City
- 15.52 %
Everton 1-2 Manchester City
- 14.39 %
Everton 0-1 Manchester City
- 10.58 %
|Premier League (EPL)||5 Oct 2013||Manchester City 3 - Everton 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||16 Mar 2013||Everton 2 - Manchester City 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||1 Dec 2012||Manchester City 1 - Everton 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||31 Jan 2012||Everton 1 - Manchester City 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||24 Sep 2011||Manchester City 2 - Everton 0|
|4 Dec 2013||Manchester United 0 - Everton 1||EPL|
|30 Nov 2013||Everton 4 - Stoke City 0||EPL|
|23 Nov 2013||Everton 3 - Liverpool 3||EPL|
|9 Nov 2013||Crystal Palace 0 - Everton 0||EPL|
|3 Nov 2013||Everton 0 - Tottenham 0||EPL|
|34||Nigel De Jong||Midfielder|
The full-back, just as adept at ploughing down the left wing as he is stopping his opponents doing the same down the right, is likely to come up against Pablo Zabaleta - arguably the weakest cog in the Mancini machine.
If the former Wigan man can beat the Argentine early, then the collapse could soon follow. Using him as an outlet from a congested midfield may just be the way of breaking down the visitors and finding the back of the net.
A man worthy of Champions League football, of that there can be no doubt.
The former Valencia man has been sumptuous since moving to City, adapting to the physicality of the English game without pausing for exasperated breath.
One would think that he will be tracked mercilessly by the in-form Phil Neville. But the former England man has got a herculean task ahead if he is to suppress Silva, whose creativity on the ball and movement off it could well prove to be the difference in what looks set to be a tight affair.
With little to play for having cosolidated their usual position in the top half of the Premier League for yet another season, Everton fans will be fearful of complacency as they face a Manchester City side who are on the brink of Champions League football.
The visitors are under little pressure from those below them, but will be looking to get the job done as soon as possible in order to switch their focus on to the FA Cup final against Stoke City.
City have enough experience throughout their side to dispose of Everton to all but reach the promised land of the top four.