Everton v Man City – Team News & Odds
All the stats, team news and odds for this weekend’s pivotal Premier League clash between Everton and Manchester City.
From a position of authority in the race for a top four finish Everton have lost two of their last three matches – against Crystal Palace and Southampton – to surrender their hopes of Champions League football for next season. The Toffees could, however, still have a huge hand to play in this season’s Premier League title race, knowing that a point or more against Manchester City this weekend would give neighbours Liverpool the upper hand.
Everton striker Romelu Lukaku has now gone four Premier League games without a goal. The longest the Belgian has gone without finding the back of the net in an Everton shirt is five straight games, in a barren spell that occurred throughout the month of December earlier this season. Tim Howard has kept four clean sheets in his last seven matches.
Manchester City are back in the driving seat of the Premier League title race following consecutive victories against West Brom and then Crystal Palace which saw the Citizens capitalise on dropped points by rivals Liverpool and Chelsea. With home games against Aston Villa and West Ham to follow, most believe that an away win here would be the defining result for Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
Yaya Toure marked his return to the side with a goal at Selhurst Park on Sunday and now has six in his last six games for the club. Edin Dzeko also got on the scoresheet to make it 24 goals for the season.
Kevin Mirallas, Bryan Ovideo, Lacina Traore, Darron Gibson and Steven Pienaar make up a lengthy injury list for the Toffees and could be joined on the sidelines by Phil Jagielka, Sylvain Distin and Leighton Baines who are all battling to overcome injury. Gareth Barry is ineligible to play against his parent club.
City’s list of casualties is considerably shorter with Jesus Navas and Matija Nastasic both ruled out, but David Silva has been back in training and is in with a chance of being fit for this crunch match.
Everton have an incredible recent record of nine wins from the last 13 Premier League meetings with Manchester City, but the Citizens were 3-1 winners in a tight game at the Etihad earlier this season. Alvaro Negredo, Sergio Aguero and a Tim Howard own goal did the business for City, after Romelu Lukaku put Roberto Martinez’s side in front.
City are made the odds-on 7/10 favourites this weekend, but I’m not convinced that this will be as straightforward as those odds suggest. Although effectively out of the race for fourth place, Everton will be keen to prove a point. Injuries and the ineligibility of Gareth Barry could be their undoing, but I’ll take a chance on the 14/5 available on this game ending as a draw.
I don’t fancy too many goals and odds of 11/8 on Under 2.5 looks worth an interest, while the 0-0 and 1-1 Correct Scores can be backed at 16/1 and 7/1.