>When Manchester City lost 2-0 at Chelsea last weekend, they clearly had an off day, but ahead of that game, they were beating all before them. They had scored 12 goals in their previous four league games, but rarely looked like scoring against a Chelsea side who had lost 2-1 at Wolves going into that fixture.
Everton have won just once in their last five games, a 1-0 win against Cardiff City at Goodison Park. Going into this match, their last three games saw them lose 1-0 in bizarre circumstances at city rivals, Liverpool; draw 1-1 at home against Newcastle, and score a dramatic late goal to rescue a 2-2 draw against Watford on Monday night.
Team news – Manchester City
Manchester City were able to rest a number of player’s during the week against Hoffenheim in the Champions League, but do have a number of injury concerns. Ruled out are Eliaquim Mangala, Benjamin Mendy, David Silva, and Danilo, whilst doubts remain over Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne.
Leroy Mane’s two goals against Hoffenheim will secure his place in Saturday’s starting line-up, alongside the likes of Raheem Sterling. Gabriel Jesus will lead the line once again in the absence of Aguero.
— Football Whispers (@FB_WHISPERS) December 13, 2018
Team news – Everton
Marco da Silva has almost a fully fit squad to choose from, with Morgan Schneiderlin and James McCarthy the only two player’s who will miss out. Richarlison is likely to be a lone front man at the Etihad Stadium, supported by Dominic Calvert-Lewis and Theo Walcott.
Idrissa Gueye and Bernard will have a hugely important part to play in the midfield battle if Everton are to come away with anything to show for their efforts, whilst Jordan Pickford should be prepared for a potentially busy lunchtime between the sticks.
Head to head
Saturday’s game will be the 185th meeting between the two sides, who first met in December 1899, when Everton enjoyed a 2-1 away win in League Division One.
Incredibly, Manchester City and Everton have never met in a league game outside of England’s top division, with some great games taking place between the clubs over the years, and a head to head record with virtually nothing between them.
In 1906, Everton beat City 9-1 at Goodison Park, in what remains the highest win for the Toffees between the two clubs.
In the 1928/29 season, City easily had the upper hand, winning the games between the sides 6-2 at Goodison Park and 5-1 at Maine Road. This was a feat almost repeated 30 years on, when City won 6-2 at home, before a 5-2 away win in the 1957/58 season.
— The-Toffees.com (@thetoffees_com) December 13, 2018
The first Premier League game between the clubs was on 31 October 1992, when City won 3-1 at Goodison Park, but Everton would win the reverse fixture that season, winning 5-2 at Maine Road.
Last season, Everton secured an excellent 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium, but City won 3-1 at Goodison on their way to the Premier League title.
The overall record stands at 69 wins for Manchester City, 68 wins for Everton, and 47 draws.
Prediction and betting tips
Manchester City will go into this game as favourites to win and return to the top of the table for 24 hours at least. An early goal could see the home side win comfortably, but the longer Everton can stay in the game, the more the City crowd will start to get anxious which can be passed on to the players.
In Everton’s last two away games, they achieved an excellent 0-0 draw at Chelsea, and were seconds from securing a similar score line at Liverpool. They are unlikely to carry much goal threat, but in Theo Walcott, they do have the pace to break when needed.
Manchester City will be determined to get back to the top of the league, so this could be a routine, if unspectacular home win.
Manchester City win 2-0 is 8/1
Both Teams To Score and Man City to Win @2/1
Leroy Sane first goal and Manchester City win 1-0 is 58/1