Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Prediction: Everton vs Manchester City


Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: bet365

Having finally showed some improvement, Everton will be looking to prove their worth when they take on underperforming Manchester City, with former Barcelona stars Ronald Koeman and Pep Guardiola set to square off in what is a difficult moment for both managers.

Everton

Many Everton fans believe that frugal spending in previous years was the main reason behind club’s failure to challenge for Champions League positions, but it appears that things are finally moving in the right direction. Namely, after Ronald Koeman openly expressed his concern about the lack of quality options in the squad, the club chiefs have taken notice, with Morgan Schneiderlin and Ademola Lookman already joining and Ishak Belfodil set to follow suit. Few more quality signings are expected to arrive by the end of the transfer window and they will not only improve the overall quality of the squad, but also increase competition for places and ensure the first team regulars become more focused and start producing what is expected of them. That appears to have already happened as the Toffees have now taken seven points from last three league fixtures, recording comfortable triumphs over Leicester City and Southampton, while sharing spoils with Hull City. Everton were eliminated from the FA Cup last weekend, but they are unlikely to be too downhearted by that result and should go into the Man City clash in good spirits.

Team News

Tom Cleverley has joined Watford on loan until the end of the season, while new recruit Morgan Schneiderlin may have to settle for a place on the bench.

Maarten Stekelenburg, Yannick Bolasie, Muhamed Besic, Bryan Oviedo and Matthew Pennington remain on the sidelines.

Manchester City

It is all too evident that Pep Guardiola has been incredibly frustrated with the failure to get Manchester City playing the way he wants them to, and it remains to be seen whether the Catalan manager will be able to turn things around. Considering the standard of their performances, the Citizens can consider themselves lucky to be just seven points behind leaders Chelsea and with 18 more games to go, there is still plenty of time for them to revive their title bid. Manchester City have had more than a fair share of poor showings, injuries and suspensions this season, and they desperately need to find some consistency sooner rather than later. After the poor display in the 2-1 triumph over Burnley, the Citizens managed to record a morale-boosting win as they put 5 past West Ham in the FA Cup, and Pep Guardiola will certainly be hoping his players can build on that performance as they prepare for high-profile games against Everton and Spurs. Manchester City haven’t done too well on the road of late, losing two of last four away fixtures in the Premiership, while they have five losses in 11 away matches on all fronts, which is definitely a cause for concern ahead of the trip to Goodison Park, where they will face revived Everton, buoyed by the heavy winter recruitment.

Team News

Fernandinho continues to miss out through suspension, whereas Ilkay Gundogan is a long-term casualty. Fabian Delph made the long-awaited return against West Ham and he is in contention.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Both teams scored in three of their last four meetings
  • Everton have five wins in last eight games vs Man City at home (D1 L2)
  • The Toffees lost two of last three home fixtures
  • Man City have five wins in last six
  • The Citizens won two of last three on the road without conceding

Conclusion

Both sides head into the game in confident mood following some promising showings of late and we, therefore, expect them both to adopt a positive approach. Given their respective attacking potential, chances are we will witness an entertaining game at Goodison Park.

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: bet365

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