Saturday, October 21, 2017

Prediction: Man City vs Everton

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: Bet365

Having suffered their first defeat in the season, Premier League title contenders Manchester City return to action following the international break eager to make amends for the 2-0 blow at Tottenham as they look to return to winning ways against Everton.

Manchester City

Pep Guardiola has introduced great changes to Manchester City upon his arrival this summer and the Citizens looked fairly impressive in the opening of the new 2016-17 season in England. Manchester City’s incredible form was extended beyond domestic competition as the Citizens notched consecutive wins both in the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League. Still, after their 10-match winning run first came the overwhelming 3-3 stalemate at Celtic, followed by a disappointing 2-0 defeat at White Hart Lane. City’s first slump of the season was a timely wake-up call and Pep Guardiola made sure to use the international break to rectify all the mistakes and prepare his team for the forthcoming clash. The Spanish tactician will welcome back some of his key players, who are coming off from their injuries in time for the Toffees duel which will only boost the team’s chances of getting back to winning ways.

Team News

Belgium hot-shot Kevin De Bruyne is making recovery from hamstring injury and could return to the fold for the upcoming clash. Sergio Aguero risked his fitness by playing for Argentina during the break, but the mercurial forward will be at Pep’s disposal for the weekend.

In the meantime, Fabian Delph, Vincent Kompany and Raheem Sterling have all been ruled out due to their respective injuries.

Everton

Much like their Saturday’s rivals, Everton have enjoyed a decent start to the new season in the Premier League, having beaten the odds to notch four successive wins in the competition and five in total, which followed the 1-1 draw against Tottenham in the season’s opener. Ronald Koeman’s men have most recently suffered a dip in form having beaten at Bournemouth and drawn with Crystal Palace just before the break, but their intentions of getting back to winning ways will be put to a serious test as the Toffees prepare for a trip to the Etihad. History suggests Everton have little to hope for against Manchester City though with the Goodison Park side winning just one of the last eight meetings with the Citizens. Ronald Koeman was given a huge selection boost ahead of the trip to Manchester and will relish a chance to go head to head against his former roommate at Barcelona, Pep Guardiola, who he has nothing but respect for.

Team News

Everton defender Leighton Baines is set to return to the team for the trip to Manchester City having missed the last two Premier League games through injury.

Mo Besic remains on the sidelines through a knee problem, while Phil Jagielka is yet to shake off his thigh injury.

Key Aspects to Consider

  • Man City lost only 1 of last 8 meetings with Everton
  • Everton last won at the Etihad in December 2010
  • Sergio Aguero and Romelu Lukaku both scored 5 PL goals so far
  • Citizens scored 18 goals in seven Premier League games
  • Ronald Koeman and Pep Guardiola were teammates in Barcelona

Conclusion

Saturday’s clash will be a meeting of two old friends from Barcelona, who will be on the opposite sides for the first time this season. Ronald Koeman was a tutor for the Catalan manager during their days at Camp Nou and it is fair to say that it was the Dutch tactician who provided Guardiola with the first insight into the magical managerial world.

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: Bet365

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