Manchester City vs Everton Prediction
Saturday 31st December 2022
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Where Can I Watch Manchester City vs Everton?
Sky Sports (UK, NI, CI, IoM)
Manchester City vs Everton Prediction Match Overview
The two teams meet for their second Premier League fixtures since the recommencement. The game is scheduled for 31 December at the Etihad, with kick-off at 3 pm. Both teams have a couple of players out, as detailed above. Man City won away against Leeds in a routine victory during the week. Rodri gave them the lead, then two goals by scoring sensation Erling Haaland took his Premier League tally for the season to twenty. Leeds scored a consolation, but it was too late. City are sixth in the form table over the last six matches, with the blips being losses to Liverpool and Brentford. However, their games have generally been quite tight. Indeed, their largest margin of victory has been two, and their goal difference is +4 across this period. They are, though, extremely good at home, having won seven of their eight league games in Manchester so far this season.
Everton lost their home game against Wolves in the last minute. They were pressing for the equaliser, but an excellent Wolves counter-attack led to a finish in the box by Rayan Ait-Nouri to deflate and anger the Goodison crowd. Everton manager Frank Lampard comes into this game under immense pressure. Indeed, this is likely the last fixture he would have wanted. They are sixteenth in the form guide in the previous six games, having picked up a meagre four points from 18. They have only won once in eight games away from home this season and lost their last ten matches against City. Therefore, the omens are not good.
Manchester City vs Everton Team News
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Mina (Everton)
Will Not Play: Alvarez, Dias (Manchester City); Garner, Townsend (Everton)
Man City (4-2-3-1): Ederson; Nathan Ake, John Stones, Maneul Akanji, Rico Lewis; Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan; Phil Foden, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva; Erling Haaland
Everton (4-3-3): Jordan Pickford; Vitaliy Mykolenko, James Tarkowski, Conor Coady, Nathan Patterson; Alex Iwobi, Idrissa Gueye Amadou Onana; Dwight McNeil, Neal Maupay, Anthony Gordon
Manchester City vs Everton Prediction Analysis
Man City’s Pressing and Possession Game
City are the best team in the league – and perhaps in Europe – when it comes to maintaining possession and starving their opposition of the ball. Pep Guardiola’s teams have always played like this. However, people can argue that they have relinquished some control in midfield for increased firepower with the signing of Haaland. Nevertheless, Rodri is establishing himself as quite possibly the finest defensive midfielder in the world. He will look to get on the ball and make passes with Gundogan, De Bruyne, and Bernardo Silva. Nominally a midfield three, Bernardo will likely drop deep to make it a four and orchestrate the game as he often does. There will be plenty of license for De Bruyne to make his trademark runs forward and create. Everton’s three midfielders (likely Gueye, Onana, and Iwobi) must be highly industrious and try to make challenges. Their entire team must also be brave on the ball, as they will have no time to dwell in possession. City will swarm them at every opportunity to win back the ball when they lose it. Indeed, we expect this game to be attack versus defence, with Everton playing a low block and trying desperately to keep City out. We wouldn’t be surprised if City have 75 per cent of the ball. It will probably be a long winter afternoon for Everton.
City’s Wide Areas and The Service to Haaland
Both teams have a threat on the flanks, but City, in particular, will look to use the width to stretch Everton and draw them out of position or disrupt their shape. We expect Bernardo to start wide right, but as stated, he will come inside and play narrower, allowing De Bruyne to roam and get out wide to deliver crosses. Haaland is a massive threat from balls into the box both low and high, and his connection with De Bruyne has paid dividends all season. On the left, Grealish could start, given his two assists in midweek, but we believe Foden will get the nod. It is, however, a thankless task trying to predict Guardiola’s starting lineup most weeks. Ake is an auxiliary left-back who is better defensively than going forward, so we expect Lewis on the other side to offer an option in attack. At times, Lewis has also played as a midfielder. Indeed, Guardiola likes his full-backs to sometimes come inside to overload the middle of the pitch and squeeze the opposition. Foden will look to dribble into the box from the left and supply Haaland, and De Bruyne and Lewis will do similar on the other side. If Haaland gets a sniff of a chance, he is usually deadly, and the Everton centre-backs will have to beware of his threat in the middle. Mahrez is a possible starter on the right. However, if not, his trickery, shooting, and intelligence are weapons to be introduced as a substitute. Cancelo might be rested again, and as stated, Grealish is an option on the left, as is Palmer.
As stated, the Merseyside team are massive underdogs, but there are ways they can try to upset City. Everton will likely have very little of the ball, so they must try to beat City’s immediate attempts to recover the ball when they do have it. If so, they can find gaps in City’s system as the City players commit themselves. If Everton can find spaces in midfield, Onana and Iwobi are decent ball carriers who can run into the City half and find McNeil and Gordon with passes. This situation allows the two wingers to run at the full-backs or Rodri if he has come to fill the positions Lewis vacates. Gordon is very fast, so his pace on the counter could prove helpful. McNeil’s delivery is generally reasonable. However, Lampard would feel much more comfortable if Calvert-Lewin was fully fit to start the match. The Englishman has had injury problems for a long time, which is a shame for Everton as he offers a real focal point in the box. Given his height and finishing ability, he is an excellent player to hit from crosses. Maupay is an okay striker but he lacks the instincts that Calvert-Lewin possesses. Indeed, Everton have only scored four goals in their last six games. This toothlessness, allied to the fact that City are excellent at home, means it will take much work for the Toffees to score. Their best bet is definitely the ball-carrying abilities of their midfielders and their wingers’ pace on the counter-attack, as said. Keeping it tight and introducing the fresh legs of Gray and Calvert-Lewin in the second half is a potential game plan.
Beat the Bookmaker Manchester City vs Everton Prediction
Given Everton’s struggles all season and their frankly abysmal record against City, you would have to be brave to give them hope in this game. We are being sensible and believe that City will dominate this entire game. Indeed, they may take an early lead and the floodgates could open. Everton lack the defensive prowess to cope with City’s interchange of positions, De Bruyne’s runs forward and crossing, or Haaland’s movement and finishing. There is a very slim chance that City could have an off day, but the Manchester club are chasing down Arsenal, and they will likely be professional. At the risk of underestimating a wounded Everton, this will likely be a resounding City victory. Everton should remain perilously near the relegation zone. City, alternatively, should exert pressure on Arsenal before the latter’s trip to Brighton immediately following this game.
Manchester City 4-0 Everton
Beat the Bookmaker Manchester City vs Everton Prediction – Manchester City to win to zero odds:
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