Everton vs Manchester City preview: Match preview, Kick-off information, Where to watch, Betting Tips and more | Premier League 2019-20
A few days ago, Norwich City shocked the footballing fraternity to its core when the Canaries recorded an improbable 3-2 win over defending champions, Manchester City.
In the aftermath of that game, questions were raised regarding the Cityzens’ transfer activity (or the lack thereof) on the defensive front, especially after John Stones and Nicolas Otamandi contrived to turn in arguably their worst performances in a City jersey.
However, Pep Guardiola dug deep into his tactical reserves and unfurled Fernandinho as a central defensive option alongside the aforementioned Argentine.
Originally signed as a box to box midfielder from Shakhtar Donetsk, the Brazilian has evolved into an astute defensive midfielder and his defensive qualities shone in the Cityzens’ succeeding games against his former club and Watford, despite Fernandinho deputising in an unfamiliar position.
Thus, in a trice, City had seemingly averted a ‘crisis’. And, they lent enormous weight to that notion by smashing 11 goals and conceding none against Shakhtar and Watford, with 8 of those coming against the latter in an astonishing rout at the Etihad Stadium.
Additionally, most of the Cityzens’ offensive weapons look to be in pristine condition, thereby hinting at more goals when they meet Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday. And that, one feels, might not be music to Evertonian ears.
Last summer, the Toffees installed Marco Silva at the helm as the Merseyside outfit hoped to re-establish itself as a genuine contender for the Champions League spots.
In the process, they also sought to put behind the tumultuous spell of his predecessor, Sam Allardyce, who despite garnering results, always divided opinion for his unglamorous style of play.
However, under Silva’s stewardship, Everton have endured an equally topsy-turvy, if not more, fifteen months, where their attack has looked threatening on occasions and their defence too has stood firm.
Unfortunately, the frequency of such situations occurring has been alarmingly low, an aspect the Portuguese would want to rectify, especially before the clamours for his head start becoming louder.
On a positive note though, the Toffees were once considered Guardiola’s Achilles heel when the Spaniard first arrived on English shores. While both sides have traversed opposite trajectories since then, that would be one bit of history Everton would like to draw inspiration from.
Hence, the match at Goodison Park on Saturday has plenty of intricate sub-plots weaved into it. While City would want to send out a strong signal to Liverpool, Everton would look to record an unlikely victory, hoping for a positive result to act as the springboard for further success.
Date: 28th September, 2019
Time: 5:30 PM (Local Time); 10:00 PM IST
Venue: Goodison Park
Where to watch: Star Sports Network (India); UNIVERSO, Telemundo Deportes en Vivo (USA)
Head to Head Record
Total Matches Played: 186 matches
Everton: 68 wins
Manchester City: 71 wins
Draw: 47 draws
Form Guide (Last five competitive matches; Most recent first)
Manchester City: W-W-W-L-W
Player to watch out for - Riyad Mahrez
Just over a year ago, Manchester City broke the bank to bring the Algerian on board. Riyad Mahrez had impressed for Leicester City previously and looked to be the perfect addition to the Cityzens’ ranks, more so because of the variety he offered in the attacking third.
However, things didn’t go quite as smoothly through 2018-19 where Mahrez struggled to break into Guardiola’s first eleven. The winger’s season started off terribly when he skied a decisive penalty at Liverpool and though he redeemed himself slightly with what effectively became the Premier League clinching goal at Brighton, many still felt that he had the potential to contribute a lot more.
And, at the start of the 2019-20 term, those claims don’t seem to be too far off the mark. While the Algerian might still not make it into City’s full-strength eleven, he certainly has showcased that he deserves to be in that starting line-up.
Blessed with a magical left foot, Mahrez’s trickery has sent shivers down several defenders’ spine and that trend has just continued in the current season. Thus, with a shaky Everton defence lying in wait, the Algerian might just fancy his chances of continuing on his upward curve.
Everton win: 10.00
Manchester City win: 1.28