Manchester City will look to go top of the table on goal difference tomorrow when they travel to Goodison Park to face an Everton team who are smarting after their 1-3 loss against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Liverpool were held to a second successive 1-1 draw as West Ham United came back from a goal down to draw the game. With just 3 points separating the top 2, the ball is in City’s court now to draw level with the Reds before their match against Bournemouth on Saturday.
But with the way the recent weeks have gone, City will be wary of dropping more points at a stadium where they have struggled historically. They have improved in recent times especially since Roberto Mancini’s reign but Pep’s lowest point during his time in England was unarguably the 0-4 drubbing in 2017.
This match comes at a difficult time for both the teams with City currently in the midst of a run where they play 4 games in 12 days, with their next opponents being Chelsea. Everton, too, are in a poor run of form having won just 3 times in their last 12 league games.
Hence, this will be as much a game of nerves and countering fatigue, as it will be a game of tactics.
MANCHESTER CITY TEAM NEWS
Pep does not have any new injury concerns to worry about. Vincent Kompany, Eliaquim Mangala and Claudio Bravo remain out.
PREDICTED MANCHESTER CITY LINEUP VS EVERTON (4-3-3)
Ederson will start in goal. The Brazilian has been in decent form but as always his primary task will be to get his distribution spot on.
We expect Kyle Walker to start at right-back once again after a solid outing against Arsenal.
Pep might revert to a more conventional approach despite the success in the last game. We expect Nicolas Otamendi and Aymeric Laporte to line up as the central defensive duo.
Benjamin Mendy might make his delayed comeback from injury finally. He can put in some valuable minutes with another crucial clash against Chelsea coming up on Sunday.
Fernandinho will shift to his more familiar role as the central defensive midfielder. Kevin de Bruyne is in line for a rest which might see Bernardo Silva shift to a midfield role with David Silva completing the trio.
Raheem Sterling might have to make do with a place on the bench. Leroy Sane is expected to start on the left even if Benjamin Mendy starts at left-back. On the other flank, Riyad Mahrez can be selected with Sterling perhaps preserved for the weekend.
Sergio Aguero is in excellent form and another start from him is likely given the must-win scenario of the fixture. He is likely to be withdrawn around the hour mark if things go as planned for Pep and co.