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Everton v Manchester City
A game that could have massive ramifications at both ends of the table. The hosts are looking to free themselves from the hugely close relegations scrap, and the visitors are looking to further cement their grip on the Premier League crown, and a potential treble.
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Tough Task for Tenacious Toffees
While their position looked far from positive just over a week ago, a 5-1 win against Brighton combined with other results going their way leaves Everton in a much nicer position going into this weekend. Everton grabbed their fourth win under Dyche against Brighton and their first away from home, but the manner of the victory will have provided the biggest boost to the Toffees. Everton fans will not expect anything from this game, but the result against Brighton will have at least given them some hope in the back of their minds that they may be able to cause an upset here.
Dwight McNeil was the star man against Brighton, he has been superb under Dyche and now has 5 goal contributions in his last 5 matches for Everton. While he is in great form, he does tend to have less attacking freedom against bigger teams so from a betting perspective you may have to ease expectations of him a little. One thing is for sure though, if Everton are to win here, McNeil will almost certainly be a star player.
Everton Team News
Everton have a number of long-term injuries in their squad at the moment, the likes of Coleman, Godfrey, and Townsend could all be important players for Everton but will miss the rest of the season. This will not be a big issue for Everton, they have hardly had these players available under Dyche at any point and they are well-adapted to performing without them. The recent return of Dominic Calvert-Lewin has also been a huge boost for Everton, since his return to the team Everton have scored 8 goals in 4 games having scored just 9 in their last 11 games without him.
Toon on the March to European Dream
Manchester City are in sensational form, they are unbeaten since playing Spurs on the 5th of February and have won 17 of their 21 matches since, drawing the other 4. Of those 4 draws, 3 have come in the Champions League away from home, in the league they almost always win. The worry for City will be tiredness, Pep Guardiola has complained about the scheduling in the lead-up to this weekend’s fixtures but his refusal to make any substitutions in midweek at the Bernabeu will leave a lot of key players unable to start, especially if he also wants them available for the second leg.
Pep is expected to stick with the 3-2-4-1 formation but we should expect a lot of changes, he made seven changes for City’s match against Leeds last weekend so we can assume that Mahrez, Alvarez, Foden, and Rico Lewis all have very good chances of starting again here. For these reasons, Manchester City bet builder predictions become a lot harder, it is hard to know how tired the City team will be and how they will cope with a lot of changes again, however, if their dominant performance against Leeds is anything to go by, they will still be at their very best.
Manchester City Team News
For Manchester City, there is only one injury worry in their whole squad. Nathan Ake has been out for a couple of weeks but may be able to start here for City. Ake will have to pass a late fitness test if he is to start, however, given his importance to City in this formation, Pep is likely to not risk him, instead making sure he is fit enough for the match against Real Madrid on Wednesday. Beyond that it is a case of who Pep decides is in need of a rest, he seems to trust Haaland to play every match now, he has played all 90 minutes in all of his last 5 matches.
Everton v Manchester City Cheat Sheet
Everton v Manchester City Bet Builder Tips
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Everton v Manchester City
Manchester City have a lot of great midfielders who are good on the ball and draw a lot of fouls. Rico Lewis draws 2.00 fouls per 90, De Bruyne draws 1.03 fouls per 90 and Gundogan draws 0.99 fouls per 90 to name a few. Doucoure has been pushed forwards as a more attacking midfielder more recently but he commits fouls on a regular basis regardless. Doucoure averages 1.14 fouls per 90 and has committed at least 1 foul in 9 of his last 11 matches. He has committed fouls against Chelsea, Spurs, Brighton, Newcastle and Arsenal recently.
Everton allow a lot of possession, they had just 22% possession last time against Brighton. Alvarez started the season as a false nine sort of striker but Pep has now moved him back into an attacking midfield role more recently. Alvarez averages 31.0 passes attempted per 90 but as an attacking midfielder, this number is higher. In his last 5 matches where he has started as a midfielder, he has averaged 34.8 passes per match and only failed to reach 30 passes once in those 5, when he had 27 against Fulham. Pep will rotate the squad and Alvarez should start here.
Everton need points, they will sit back and look to soak up City pressure, however if they go behind they will open up a bit more as a draw would be a very important point for them. This will invite City attacks when level and leave even more space for City’s creative players if they go ahead.
Everton still haven’t sorted their defence out to be as good as Dyche would like. Newcastle, Fulham, Manchester United and Chelsea have all had at least 6 shots on target against Everton recently. Manchester City average 5.68 shots on target per 90, the second highest in the league. They have had at least 6 shots on target in all of their last 5 matches in all competitions, including away at Real Madrid.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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