Everton will be gearing up for their toughest test this season when they travel to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City who are currently top of the table. Pep Guardiola’s side had started the season at a canter but a draw and a loss against Celtic and Tottenham Hotspur respectively has brought them to a sliding halt. Issues which seemed sorted during the run have surfaced again and it looks Pep Guardiola will do good to get a few wins under his belt in the difficult month which is to ensue.
Everton on the other have undergone a similar period as they started the season strongly and went as high as the 2nd position in the 5th game week. After a confidence-boosting draw against Spurs in the opening game week, they have been very effective as they brushed aside their opponents in the next 4 matches before suffering a shock 1-0 loss against Bournemouth. This was followed by an entertaining 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace which might have halted their momentum a wee bit.
But with the Toffees still sitting pretty in the 5th place, the atmosphere has by no means soured at the Goodison and Everton will head to City in a positive frame of mind.
T4O’s EVERTON PREDICTED LINE-UP VS MANCHESTER CITY (4-2-3-1)
Marten Stekelenburg is nailed on between the posts and will be prepared for a busy 90 minutes. Seamus Coleman will look to get at either Kolarov or Clichy and will be high on confidence after scoring an excellent goal already this season. Williams and Jagielka are likely to form the central defensive pairing while Everton will be desperate for Leighton Baines to regain full fitness as he will be needed against City’s rampaging attack.
Gareth Barry and Idrissa Gueye have been excellent in the middle of the park and Ronald Koeman will hope Barry can shine against his former team. Gueye is turning out to be a canny buy for the Toffees and will look to be instrumental throughout the season in a similar vein as to what N’Golo Kanté was last season. Ross Barkley will be in the No.10 role and his previous impressive record against City will be an important factor as he will look to replicate the form.
Mirallas and Bolasie have been regulars on the flanks and Koeman will look to utilise the duo’s pace on the wings against City’s susceptible backline. Romelu Lukaku will be desperate to recover from his thigh injury and take up his place in front of the attack.