Everton vs Manchester City: EPL Preview and Prediction
Premier League champions Manchester City travel to Goodison Park on Saturday evening, looking to keep the pressure on Liverpool with victory over their Merseyside neighbours Everton.
Pep Guardiola's side has roared back to form in intimidating fashion since their slip-up at Norwich City after the international break.
Manchester City may not be top of the table but last week’s 8-0 demolition of Watford showed that when on form, they are still the class act in the Premier League.
Ever since their stunning 3-2 defeat at Norwich earlier this month, Guardiola's side have gone into overdrive with 14 unanswered goals in their last three games.
City will be expecting a tougher test again away to Everton, but in terms of sheer firepower, they are the out-and-out superior side.
Meanwhile, Everton have stagnated in recent weeks, losing back-to-back league games at the hands of Bournemouth and Sheffield United, meaning a third consecutive defeat could pile serious pressure on the shoulders of Marco Silva.
As such, the Toffees have had to source goals from further back, and Richarlison has thus far proven the most likely goal-getter this term, leading the scoring charts with two league finishes.
The Brazilian’s ability to drift infield and pop up in threatening positions could prove problematic for Pep Guardiola this weekend, should the 22-year-old be in the mood that is.
City have rarely had problems at that end of the field, particularly in recent years, but it is in defence where the main concerns lie, with Nicolas Otamendi the only fit senior centre-back in the squad.
Despite that, they have not conceded a single goal in the three games since John Stones joined Aymeric Laporte on the sidelines, with Fernandinho slotting in alongside Otamendi.
There is perhaps a glimmer of hope for Everton, then, particularly considering they have won 10 home Premier League matches against the defending champions in the past.
The Toffees are expected to be without Andre Gomes once more as he continues to struggle with a rib injury, while new signing Jean-Philippe Gbamin faces another month or so on the sidelines at least.
Silva could make some changes from last weekend's defeat to the Blades with Alex Iwobi and Calvert-Lewin among those pushing for inclusion.
Michael Keane, Seamus Coleman and Gylfi Sigurdsson should all return to the starting XI after being left out in midweek.
Jean-Philippe Gbamin and Andre Gomes are the only players currently out injured for Everton.
City’s performance against Watford showed they are not the kind of team to let up once they take control and it could be a long afternoon for the hosts if they go behind early on.
Raheem Sterling missed the bonanza against Watford, when Riyad Mahrez, Sergio Aguero and hat-trick hero Bernardo Silva were all on the scoresheet, but then got amongst the goals himself against Preston in midweek, as did Gabriel Jesus.
Mahrez appears to be the most likely to make way should Sterling return to the front three.
Aguero could become only the fourth player in Premier League history to score in eight successive games, but his ratio against Everton is his worst in the competition.
Gylfi Sigurdsson vs Rodrigo Hernandez
Goodison Park will witness a mouth-watering clash when Everton host defending champions Manchester City.
A mini-battle within the match will see playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson locking horns with City's new recruit, Rodrigo Hernandez.
Sigurdsson has not had a good season so far, and it will be really interesting to see what he does against Rodri who has been a commanding presence for the blue half of Manchester.
The Iceland national has started all six matches so far, making 2.5 key passes and 1.8 shots per game, while Rodri has, to his credit, 3 tackles and 62 successful passes per game from five matches.
Michael Keane vs Sergio Aguero
Pep Guardiola will look to win handsomely and pile pressure on Marcos Silva whose job is in grave danger. Meanwhile, Everton could do their Merseyside arch rivals Liverpool a huge favour, if they take points off the Citizens.
Another engrossing mini-battle in the fixture will see former Manchester United defender Michael Keane coping with the massive challenge that Argentine star Sergio Aguero would be going to pose.
It might prove to be a really uphill task as Aguero is a wily player who could surprise you with his quick turns and sharp reflexes, and Keane would most likely have a lively and busy evening.
Keane has had 4.7 clearances and 1.5 interceptions per game from the six matches so far, while Aguero has scored eight goals and two assists from the five games he has been part of.
Everton return to Premier League action on Saturday when they host Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City at the Goodison Park.
On their day Everton have the capabilities of upsetting any Premier League side, but with their current form coupled with the recent momentum carrying Guardiola’s juggernaut, a third successive defeat is the most likely result on Merseyside for Marcos Silva.
Predicted Score: Everton 1-3 Man City