MX23RW : Sunday, September 29 16:18:25| >> :600:206912:206912:
Sep 28, 2019 at 5.30pm UK at ​Goodison Park (Liverpool)
Attendance: 39,222
Man CityManchester City
FT(HT: 1-1)
Jesus (24'), Mahrez (71'), Sterling (84')

Preview: Everton vs. Manchester City - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Everton and champions Manchester City, including predictions, team news and head-to-head records.

Premier League champions Manchester City travel to Goodison Park on Saturday evening looking to keep the pressure on Liverpool with victory over their Merseyside neighbours Everton.

Pep Guardiola's side have roared back to form in intimidating fashion since their slip-up at Norwich City after the international break and face an Everton side struggling for form under Marco Silva.

Match preview

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola pictured on September 21, 2019© Reuters

There are not many things more dangerous in world football than a wounded Manchester City.

Ever since their stunning 3-2 defeat at Norwich earlier this month, Guardiola's side have gone into overdrive with 14 unanswered goals in their last three games, including eight against Watford in their last league outing.

An unprecedented blitz of five goals in the opening 18 minutes gave an indication of the mood Man City were in, going on to add three more for the second-biggest Premier League victory ever.

Preston North End provided slightly sterner opposition for a second-string City in midweek, although the frightening strength in depth at their disposal means that they were still able to play the likes of Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva and David Silva in their 3-0 win at Deepdale.

Manchester City's Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring their first goal against Preston on September 24, 2019© Reuters

City will be expecting a tougher test again away to Everton, but in terms of sheer firepower they are Europe's very best right now. Indeed, their tally of 24 goals from their opening six league games - an average of four per match - is the most at this stage of a top-flight season since Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1955-56.

Guardiola's side have also scored in each of their last 28 Premier League games - the third-longest run in the competition's history - with their last top-flight blank coming at Stamford Bridge in December 2018.

City have rarely had problems at that end of the field, particularly in recent years, but it is in defence where the main concerns lie, with Nicolas Otamendi the only fit senior centre-back in the squad.

Despite that, City have not conceded a single goal in the three games since John Stones joined Aymeric Laporte on the sidelines, with Fernandinho slotting in alongside Otamendi and young duo Eric Garcia and Taylor Harwood-Bellis providing a timely reminder of their qualities in midweek.

It therefore already seems a long time ago that Norwich shocked the football world at Carrow Road, although it will not be lost on Guardiola that the result came in their most recent away league game - they have not lost two in a row since Boxing Day.

For all of their fine form since then, the gap to leaders Liverpool remains at five points and could even grow to eight by the time this match gets underway, with Jurgen Klopp's side in action against Sheffield United in the early Saturday kickoff.

Everton boss Marco Silva on September 21, 2019© Reuters

There is perhaps a glimmer of hope for Everton, then, particularly considering they have won 10 home Premier League matches against the defending champions in the past - only Liverpool have won more in the competition's history.

This is an Everton side in poor form, though, languishing 14th in the table after back-to-back defeats at the hands of Bournemouth and Sheffield United.

Indeed, it is now three losses in four league games for a side many tipped to push for a top-six spot this season, piling the pressure on the shoulders of Silva following some extravagant spending.

Losing to Man City is unlikely to be enough to tip the board over the edge - assuming another 8-0 hammering is not on the horizon - but last weekend's defeat to Sheffield United certainly pushed him closer to the exit door and will have damaged their confidence hugely too.

Sheffield United score courtesy of a Yerry Mina own goal on September 21, 2019© Reuters

All of their disappointment had come on the road prior to that result, with Everton having won six in a row at home, going unbeaten in seven and keeping six clean sheets during a run which included triumphs over Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United - not to mention being the last team to take league points off Liverpool.

Sheffield United's smash-and-grab 2-0 triumph at Goodison was Everton's first loss in front of their own fans since Man City's last visit in February and will leave many fearing the worst as the champions come to town again.

The Toffees did at least return to winning ways against United's Steel City neighbours Sheffield Wednesday in midweek, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin getting both goals in a 2-0 triumph at Hillsborough.

While the prospect of a first trophy since 1995 will always be appealing to the club, for now it is their league form that they need to sort out, and a heavy defeat this weekend would only raise more questions as to the future of Silva.

Everton form: LWWLLW

Man City form: WWLWWW

Team News

Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring during the Premier League game between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur on August 17, 2019© Reuters

The biggest question mark facing Guardiola is how he keeps all of his attackers happy when they are all in such good form.

Raheem Sterling missed the bonanza against Watford, when Riyad Mahrez, Sergio Aguero and hat-trick hero Bernardo Silva were all on the scoresheet, but then got amongst the goals himself against Preston in midweek, as did Gabriel Jesus.

Mahrez appears to be the most likely to make way should Sterling return to the front three, although Bernardo played the full 90 minutes against both Watford and Preston and could therefore be a candidate for a rest too.

Fernandinho is expected to line up alongside Otamendi in defence again in the continued absence of Laporte and Stones, while Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri and Ederson will also come back into the team.

Benjamin Mendy is now back fit and could be in contention to start a second successive league game, although Guardiola will no doubt be wary of asking too much of him too soon given his injury record.

Aguero could become only the fourth player in Premier League history to score in eight successive games, but his ratio against Everton is his worst in the competition - just two goals in 13 appearances.

Everton are expected to be without Andre Gomes once more as he continues to struggle with a rib injury, while new signing Jean-Philippe Gbamin faces another month or so on the sidelines at least.

Silva could make some changes from last weekend's defeat to the Blades with Alex Iwobi and Calvert-Lewin among those pushing for inclusion.

Michael Keane, Seamus Coleman and Gylfi Sigurdsson should all return to the starting XI after being left out in midweek.

Everton possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne; Schneiderlin, Delph; Richarlison, Sigurdsson, Iwobi; Calvert-Lewin

Man City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Fernandinho, Zinchenko; De Bruyne, Rodri, D Silva; Bernardo, Aguero, Sterling

Head To Head

One of Guardiola's lowest points in his City career came in this fixture when Everton ran out 4-0 winners in January 2017, although that was their only victory in their last 12 Premier League meetings with City.

Indeed, City could win four successive league games against Everton for the first time since 1972 having won 3-1 at home and 2-0 in the corresponding fixture last season.

Silva himself has lost all five of his Premier League meetings with Guardiola, having not tasted defeat at the hand of any other manager more than twice in the competition.

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We say: Everton 0-2 Man City

Man City have been unstoppable since that defeat to Norwich, and an out-of-form Everton side do not look capable of bringing them to a halt. Any team facing the champions will no doubt draw belief from Norwich's heroics, but it would be a surprise if Everton could emulate the Canaries and take more points off City this weekend.

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Who will win Saturday's Premier League clash between Everton and Man City?

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Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring during the Premier League game between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur on August 17, 2019
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