With Manchester City set to welcome Everton to the Etihad tomorrow night, let us take a look at the 3 key battles which will have an effect on the outcome of the fixture.
Wayne Rooney vs Vincent Kompany
The old boys of the respective sides would shoulder the responsibility when Everton visit Manchester City on Sunday. Wayne Rooney, when fit, could still be one of the best forwards in the league and he has been showing it every week since joining the Toffees. The 31-year-old is a master in using the gaps in and around the penalty box with perfectly timed movements and given the astounding goals that he has scored against the Manchester rivals, City will be wary of him.
Of the available three-man defence that Pep Guardiola has, Kompany remains the most capable of stopping the prolific striker. The Belgian international has clashed with his former Manchester rival on previous occasions and Guardiola would want no one else to man mark him. Kompany’s ability to read the game is unparalleled and him staying focused will be crucial for the side if they are to prevent a flurry of goals.
Kevin De Bruyne vs Idrissa Gueye
Probably the most important duel of the game would come from the midfield given the enormous quality both the teams possess in that part of the park. De Bruyne has been City’s most influential player since his arrival and it goes without saying that the likes of Leroy Sane, Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling all rely hugely upon him to connect the dots from the attacking midfield positions.
He will be up against Everton’s hard working Idrissa Gueye. While in terms of dribbling and ability to hold the ball, the Belgian is way superior to his Everton counterpart but Gueye’s incessant runs and coming back to unsettle him time and again will play a major role in stopping De Bruyne. With Morgan Schneiderlin as the other option in the midfield, Gueye remains the more mobile midfielder and will have huge responsibilities.
Sergio Aguero vs Michael Keane
No matter what formation Ronald Koeman starts his squad with against Manchester City, Michael Keane would be his best option to hold the central defence. The former Burnley star hasn’t budged an inch since his arrival and alongside the aged legs of Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka is depended upon heavily. With such an effective attacking front, Everton are expected to hit on the counter, which means absorbing pressure mostly.
Sergio Aguero’s quick movements could be tapped by Keane most effectively than anyone in the Everton side. The English youngster has been exemplary in systematic defending over the past two seasons and would have to play a huge role in a game, where both the sides will look to make a statement.
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