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Premier League

  • December 20, 2010
  • • 20:00
  • • Etihad Stadium, Manchester
  • Referee: P. Walton
  • • Attendance: 45028
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Premier League Preview: Manchester City - Everton

Premier League Preview: Manchester City - Everton

Carlos Tevez is expected to start despite transfer saga...

City Eyeing Top Spot

The game between Chelsea and Manchester United was postponed because of heavy snows in parts of the UK, as was Arsenal’s clash against Stoke City.

But Blackburn Rovers in the North West were able to stage their game against West Ham, and in nearby Manchester the signs are currently positive that City's clash with Everton will survive the freeze. If it does, and City go on to win it, they will have grasped a rare opportunity to go top of the table at Chjristmas. And that would serve to justify the club’s status as serious contenders to win the Premier League this term.

Yet at the same time, the wheels of the well-oiled machine that is City could be about to come off, following skipper Carlos Tevez's recent written transfer request. He has clearly expressed his desire to leave, which could potentially destabilise the club just as they reach the summit.

Tevez has cited an irreparable breakdown in his relationship with certain executives at the club, an admission which, combined with well-publicised homesickness, suggests his days at Eastlands are numbered.

On the other hand, the Argentine forward’s transfer request was denied, he has trained as normal and manager Roberto Mancini has confirmed that he intends to play the marksman against the Toffees.

But playing after being denied a transfer request could prove difficult for the player, whose attitude and body language will no doubt be the subject of close scrutiny. It will be interesting to see how Tevez handles the pressure, though he has pledged to remain professional and fully committed to his team.

Toffees Require Resurrection

Everton need to resurrect a season that is slowly slipping away and in danger of becoming one the fans would would prefer to forget.

Having accumulated a meagre 18 points from 17 games to date, they sit in 15th spot in the table. But the competitive nature of the Premier League means that their position could quickly change, as eighth-placed Newcastle United are only four points ahead. On the converse, relegation-threatened Wigan Athletic are only two points behind.

The Toffees also have a problem up front, as their strikers have been misfiring for some time now. Louis Saha’s goal drought continues, while Yakubu and Jermaine Beckford have been unable to compensate, and manager David Moyes has maintained that he intends to address the issue in the upcoming transfer window.

But before that, his side will have to get the right result if they are to push forward in a positive direction after going seven games without a victory.

And in these seven, the Merseyside club have kept only one clean sheet while conceding 12 goals, which is far too many for a team looking to finish much higher up the table than their current position.

TEAM NEWS

Manchester City

Roberto Mancini has already revealed that he intends to give striker Carlos Tevez a start against Everton, despite the player wanting out of the club.

James Milner would likely be expected to man the midfield in the absence of Nigel de Jong, who is serving a suspension. Emmanuel Adebayor (calf) is still a doubt for this game.

Possible starting XI: Hart; Zabaleta, Toure, Lescott, Kolarov; Barry, Kompany; Silva, Milner, Yaya Toure; Tevez.

Everton

Steven Pienaar (ankle) and John Heitinga (knee) are both doubts for this encounter. Diniyar Bilyaletdinov could be deployed on the flank if the South African does not recover in time for the trip to Eastlands.

Tony Hibbert returns to contention, but James Vaughan (ankle) is unlikely to be available. Mikel Arteta is suspended so will definitely miss out.

Possible starting XI: Howard, Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Coleman, Fellaini, Rodwell, Bilyaletdinov; Cahill; Saha.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Joe HartGoalkeeper
5Pablo ZabaletaDefender
4Kolo ToureDefender
4Vincent KompanyDefender
13Aleksandar KolarovDefender
7James MilnerMidfielder
42Yaya Touré Midfielder
21David SilvaStriker
18Gareth BarryMidfielder
45Mario BalotelliStriker
10Carlos TévezStriker
31Shay GivenGoalkeeper
2Micah RichardsDefender
17Jerome BoatengDefender
-Patrick VieiraMidfielder
11Shaun Wright-PhillipsMidfielder
11Adam JohnsonMidfielder
7Striker
24Tim HowardGoalkeeper
-Phil NevilleMidfielder
6Phil JagielkaDefender
15Sylvain Distin Defender
3Leighton BainesDefender
23Seamus ColemanDefender
26Jack RodwellMidfielder
25Marouane FellainiMidfielder
21Leon OsmanMidfielder
17Tim CahillMidfielder
28Victor AnichebeStriker
1Jan MuchaGoalkeeper
19Magaye GueyeStriker
-Aiyegbeni YakubuStriker
9Jermaine BeckfordStriker
7Diniyar BilyaletdinovMidfielder
8Louis SahaStriker
2Tony HibbertDefender
Players to Watch
Carlos Tévez
Carlos Tévez
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Carlos Tevez has been the club’s lifeblood on the pitch, and for some time there were even doubts as to whether the team could win without the Argentine in their line-up. The skipper recently had a transfer request rejected, and his response to the situation could be the difference between three points and none at all.
Tim Cahill
Tim Cahill
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 17
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Tim Cahill is shouldering the burden of a midfielder as well as a striker, as he has scored eight goals in 16 league appearances this season. With the Toffees’ problems up front, the Australian would be expected to do some damage in the attacking third of the pitch if his side are to take away something from this game.
Prediction
City are flying high at the moment, and should be able to take three points off their off-colour opponents.
Editor's Prediction

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