Manchester City will look to get back on the winning track after their 2-0 defeat to Chelsea. But they face a stiff challenge from quality Everton side.
“We are not here to be invincible, we are here to be champions,” said Pep Guardiola after City’s last week defeat. The Spaniard has his eyes fixed on the championship once again and a minor setback will not stop him. And Pep’s men will be eager to prove that as they face yet another challenge this weekend against Everton.
When and where to watch the game:
In an early Saturday kick-off, City will host Everton at 6:00 PM IST, on 15th December. Indian viewers can watch the game on Star Sports and Hotstar.
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As mentioned earlier, City were handed their first Premier League defeat of the season last week. Pep’s men even failed to find the back of the net in their 2-0 defeat – A phenomenon that occurs once in a blue moon. Liverpool claimed the first spot in the league standings but City are just a point behind the Reds. And they bounced back with a 2-1 victory against Hoffenheim in the Champions League, courtesy Leroy Sane’s brilliant brace.
Everton currently sit 7th in the table with 24 points. And although they have bagged just two points from their last three league games, the Toffees remain a dangerous side with an ability to pull off an unpredictable result. Marco Silva’s men drew 2-2 against Watford last week, thanks to a brilliant free-kick from Lucas Digne in the 96th minute.
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Manchester City have one thing in common with their city-rivals, United, at this moment – The list of injured players. The Citizens are without Benjamin Mendy, David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne for the Saturday’s clash against Everton. John Stones also suffered an injury during the midweek fixture to add to Pep’s problems. Veteran midfielder Fernandinho is also a doubt for the game.
The only good news (which is still only in reports) is that Sergio Aguero might be fit again to face Everton. The Argentine has been sorely missed in front of the goal with Gabriel Jesus struggling to find his scoring boots.
Unlike Manchester City, Everton have no real injury concern as the Toffees only have long-term absentee James McCarthy on the sidelines.
Expected Line-Ups and Formation:
With John Stones doubtful for the game, expect Otamendi to partner Aymeric Laporte in the heart of the defence. Kyle Walker will start at RB and youngster Zinchenko is likely to get a start at LB with Fabian Delph in the midfield. The Englishman will line-up with Bernardo Silva and Gundogan in the middle of the park as the Citizens are dangerously understaffed in that area. Teenager Phil Foden will be another option after his brilliant performance mid-week but will Pep take that gamble?
Sane and Sterling are in brilliant form at the moment and the duo will look to help out of form Gabriel Jesus in front of the goal.
(4-4-4) Ederson (GK); Walker, Stones, Laporte, Zinchenko; B Silva, Delph, Gundogan; Sterling, Jesus, Sané.
The Toffees have not played to their full potential in the last few weeks and Marco Silva will be eager to change that. But in the starting line-up, there will be a very few to no changes at all. Keane and Yerry Mina will be in the defence with Coleman at RB and last week’s hero Digne at LB.
Andre Gomes and Idrissa Gueye will play in the middle of the park with Sigurdsson, Walcott, and Bernard ahead of them. Gylfi Sigurdsson has scored 6 league goals so far and will look to add to that from the No. 10 position. Everton’s signing of the season, Richarlison will lead the line with 8 goals already in his bag.
(4-3-3) Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne; Gueye, Gomes; Walcott, Sigurdsson, Bernard; Richarlison.
Despite their injury concerns, Manchester City are clear-cut favorites to win the game. Everton will make things difficult for the hosts but they have enough firepower to fend off the Merseyside club’s resistance.