Manchester City have the opportunity to go top of the Premier League on Wednesday when they travel to face Everton.
Liverpool have slipped up in their last couple of matches, and while Pep Guardiola’s side have also proven vulnerable, losing to Newcastle, what might have been a seven-point gap could be totally eradicated.
City are playing this fixture in advance due to their raft of commitments in the Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup, and it gives them the chance to launch a pre-emptive strike on the Reds, though their city rivals are unlikely to make life easy for them at Goodison Park.
|Game||Everton vs Manchester City|
|Date||Wednesday, February 6|
|Time||7:45pm GMT/2:45pm ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can watched on NBCSN or UNIVERSO. It can be streamed via NBC Sports Live or UNIVERSO NOW.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|NBCSN / UNIVERSO||NBC Sports Live / UNIVERSO NOW|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will not be broadcast or available for streaming.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
Squads & Team News
|Defenders||Keane, Zouma, Browning, Digne, Baines, Galloway, Coleman, Kenny|
|Midfielders||Schneiderlin, Gomes, Gueye, Davies, McCarthy, Sigurdsson|
|Forwards||Richarlison, Lookman, Bernard, Walcott, Tosun, Calvert-Lewin|
Everton make five changes to the side that were beaten by Wolves last weekend.
Seamus Coleman, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Richarlison are all on the bench.
Jonjoe Kenny, Lucas Digne, Idrissa Gueye, Bernard and Dominic Calvert-Lewin all start.
Confirmed Everton starting XI: Pickford; Kenny, Keane, Zouma, Digne; Gomes, Gueye, Davies; Walcott, Bernard, Calvert-Lewin
|Position||Manchester City squad|
|Defenders||Stones, Laporte, Otamendi, Sandler, Mendy, Walker, Danilo|
|Midfielders||Fernadinho, Gundogan, Delph, Zinchenko, Foden, D. Silva, Diaz, B. Silva, Mahrez, De Bruyne|
|Forwards||Aguero, Jesus, Sterling, Sane|
Pep Guardiola has made two changes from the team that beat Arsenal on Sunday, with John Stones and Leroy Sane returning to the starting XI.
Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling are both on the bench.
Confirmed Manchester City starting XI: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Laporte, Fernandinho, Gundogan, Silva (C), Sane, Bernardo, Aguero
Betting & Match Odds
Manchester City are 3/10 favourites to win this game at bet365. Everton are a 9/1 shot, while a draw is 21/4.
All eyes will be on Manchester City on Tuesday as they attempt to go back to the top of the Premier League table.
Liverpool have stumbled in their quest for a first English crown since 1990, and while they still remain in the driving seat, if Pep Guardiola’s men were to win on Tuesday in response to two Reds draws, the psychological edge would surely have swung in their favour.
City overcame a stern test from Arsenal at the weekend, winning 3-1 thanks to a treble from Sergio Aguero, and though there was controversy over his third goal, in which he admitted to a handball, the Citizens were resounding and deserving winners.
It was an impressive way to bounce back from a stunning loss against Newcastle, which threatened to end their title challenge.
Guardiola, however, is still aware that City’s hopes balance on the edge of a knife.
“The pressure is when you're behind. If you lose points, it's tougher. When you're top with distance you can lose points and still be there,” he said, but denied he is trying to play mental warfare with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
“I'm not in the mind of Jurgen and the players. Every press conference you say: 'Put pressure on Liverpool.' I don't know. We have to be ourselves. That's the main target we want to achieve. And win our games.”
City will now aim to put on the kind of commanding display they managed at Goodison Park last season, when they ran out 3-1 winners but in truth were far more comfortable than that.
“You could see it in their faces in the first half that they didn't know what was happening … and that's why you feel in so much control I guess, when you see it on their faces,” Kevin De Bruyne commented in the aftermath of that encounter.
The Toffees went down 3-1 against Wolves on Saturday, despite Andre Gomes drawing them level in the first half.
Europe is not out of the question for Marco Silva’s side, but pressure is mounting on the manager, whose side could be in the bottom half of the table by the weekend if results go awry.
Guardiola and City will, however, show little sympathy.