Manchester City - Everton Preview: Roberto Mancini's men hoping to bounce back from shock draw at Fulham last week
Both sides are on good streaks, but with the Toffees having faced a testing 120 minutes in midweek, will they have the legs to deal with their fresh-faced opponents?
By Joe Doyle
Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy
Barry, Toure Yaya
Silva, Aguero, Nasri
Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines
Coleman, Fellaini, Barkley, Drenthe
Manchester City look set to return to the same lineup that drew against Fulham last Sunday after their midweek defeat of Birmingham in the League Cup, despite Owen Hargreaves' impressive debut.
There are no fresh injury concerns for Mancini, but the midfield pairing of James Milner and Nigel de Jong are set to miss out again with a concussion and a foot injury respectively, which last week led to Mancini claiming that he did not have enough options.
For Everton, Victor Anichebe is the only player missing with a long-term groin injury, while manager David Moyes can look to a strong set of deadline-day loan signings to bolster his team.
The form of youngster Ross Barkley is reportedly attracting the interest of Chelsea and Manchester United already, and it looks likely that the 17-year-old will play on Saturday.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Both sides have conceded on average a goal per game this season, but Manchester City have scored an impressive 17 to Everton's six.
- Manchester City boast three of the top four scorers in the Premier League on their books, with Sergio Aguero on eight goals and Edin Dzeko (pictured right) six, while Emmanuel Adebayor, currently on loan at Tottenham, has three.
- Until last week's draw against Fulham, Manchester City were on a seven-match winning streak.
- Everton hold an impressive record against the hosts, having won seven of the previous eight meetings between the two sides.
- Before last weekend's 2-2 at Fulham, the last time Manchester City drew a game was in February.
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Top 3 Predictions
Manchester City 3-1 Everton
- 20.17 %
Manchester City 2-0 Everton
- 14.78 %
Manchester City 3-0 Everton
- 10.59 %
|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|
|2 Mar 2014||Manchester City 3 - Sunderland 1||CCUP|
|22 Feb 2014||Manchester City 1 - Stoke City 0||EPL|
|18 Feb 2014||Manchester City 0 - Barcelona 2||UCL|
|15 Feb 2014||Manchester City 2 - Chelsea FC 0||FA|
|8 Feb 2014||Norwich City 0 - Manchester City 0||EPL|
While Sergio Aguero has been in outstanding form for Manchester City this season, it is the Spanish midfielder who has arguably been the most influential player for the team, contributing three assists and becoming a key figure in dictating the tempo of City's attacks and counterattacks.
The left-back was one of three Everton players to have not missed a minute in the league last season, while his crossing in advanced positions and quality from set-pieces can worry any defence, regardless of their prestige.
While Everton are dangerous opponents and have an enviable record against Manchester City, everything points towards a home win. City's threat in attack should be far too much for their opponents' defence to deal with, as Roberto Mancini can choose from a wealth of options up front.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed