MATCHUP AT A GLANCE
When: Saturday, September 28, 2019, at 12:30 PM
Where: Goodison Park, Liverpool, England.
Odds: Everton +850, Draw +450, Manchester City -357 @ Intertops
Everton's performance has been admittedly underwhelming so far as the Toffees have won just two of their six Premier League outings and have lost three at the same time. This weekend Marco Silva's side will take on a rampant Manchester City side that has scored 14 goals in the last three matches and will be keen to continue with their superiority over Everton when they travel to Goodison Park on Saturday, 28 September 2019.
Everton have won 10 Premier League home matches against defending champions and will be keen to improve their record. Only their city rivals Liverpool have won more – 13. However, the Toffees will have difficult times against Man City as they need to bounce back following back-to-back Premier League defeats, shipping five goals and scoring just one against Bournemouth (3-1) and Sheffield United (2-0).
Five points behind their main opponents Liverpool (this gap could go up to 8 if Liverpool beat Sheffield United early on Saturday), Manchester City have no other choice but to claim another victory when they head to Merseyside to face the other club from The Beatles' hometown of Liverpool.
Everton Betting Preview
Everton sit 14th in the Premier League standings, picking up just seven points out of 18 possible, and the 2-0 home defeat to newly promoted Sheffield United last weekend was already their third of the campaign.
Indeed, the scoreline was met with boos at the final whistle and the Portuguese boss of Everton launched an attack on his players, accusing them of ‘hiding' and suggested some home truths were spoken in the dressing room.
Marco Silva's position comes under threat early during his second season at Goodison Park and the 42-year-old former Watford manager is a favorite to be the next Premier League manager to leave his position.
After spending millions on Yerry Mina, Lucas Digne and Richarlison, with Kurt Zouma and Andre Gomes arriving on loan last summer, The Toffees finished eighth in Silva's first campaign, twelve points behind the top-six, which suggested they should build on in the second year of his tenure.
Although they couldn't engage Kurt Zouma on a full-time contract, Everton successfully signed with several other players who had to strengthen their midfield line, but the defense doesn't seem to have the required depth.
The outgoing transfer of an experienced anchorman such as Idrissa Gueye and the release of long-serving captain Phil Jagielka required an appropriate activity by the Everton boss.
If Marco Silva managed to increase the midfield options, he will hope to have his two main center-backs Yerry Mina and Michael Keane fit throughout, otherwise he would have to field Mason Holgate who spent a significant portion of his time with West Bromwich Albion last season as a wing-back.
However, Holgate did well against Sheffield Wednesday in midweek and Silva could be convinced that the 22-years-old wants to resurrect his career at Goodison Park, where he enjoyed more first-team minutes under both Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce. Moreover, he already played either as a center-back or right-back with the Merseyside outfit and Marco Silva could award the youngster with more first-team action here.
Meanwhile, Seamus Coleman finally has a reliable alternative at right-back as the World Cup winner Djibril Sidibe is eager for first-team action and the Frenchman will hope to get the nod over the skipper.
Tom Davies, who had his first start of the season against Wednesday, could keep his starting position in midfield at the expense of Morgan Schneiderlin, whose form hasn't been pleasing of late, while Andre Gomes and Jean-Philippe Gbamin are both sidelined through injuries.
Another likely rotation is up front where Marco Silva will be particularly pleased not just with the fact that Dominic Calvert-Lewin got his name to the scoresheet twice, but with the nature of his goals against Sheffield Wednesday.
The Sheffield-born striker, who is a graduate of United's Academy, showed a calm head and clinical finishing to despatch both goals with the kind of instinct any manager would want from his center-forward.
Summer signing Alex Iwobi impressed as an alternative number 10 in midweek and the Nigerian offered his manager a much different kind of profile than he normally has with Gylfi Sigurdsson in the role. Anyway, Sigurdsson has settled himself as one of the key players for the Toffees and we don't believe that Silva would leave him out of the starting squad again, but who knows.
Iwobi's hard-working nature means he would definitely keep his starting spot if not as an attacking midfielder, then surely at left-wing, whereas Richarlison seems to be a sure starter in current setup.
Manchester City Betting Preview
Pep Guardiola's side have scored 24 goals in their opening six Premier League games, the most by a top-flight side at this stage since Wolves (25 goals) in 1955-56. Nevertheless, they have already reached their limit of mistakes so early in the season as they have failed to beat Spurs at home on matchday two and lost 3-2 at Norwich City.
Watford were punished just for being next on the Manchester City schedule and Pep Guardiola's men were ruthless to score eight and to create many more scoring chances in a game they've easily dominated from the outset. The 8-0 win over Watford has been sandwiched between two 3-0 wins in other competitions, which means that City have scored three or more goals in six of their nine competitive games this season.
The Citizens were not so insistent to beat Preston North End only 3-0 in midweek but they'll surely be more concentrated against Everton. Even though Pep Guardiola likes to rotate the squad, he cannot afford to underestimate any opposition right now, just two weeks after the shocking defeat at Norwich.
Given the injuries of the two first-team center-backs Aymeric Laporte and John Stones, Guardiola had to rest Fernandinho and Nicolas Otamendi in the midweek League Cup action as the pair will probably start at Goodison Park. He started with two teenagers instead – Eric Garcia and Taylor Harwood-Bellis, with the latter making his official debut.
Benjamin Mendy also returned to first-team action as he featured in the first-half against Watford and also came off the bench to replace Angelino in midweek. The 25-years-old Frenchman is in contention with Oleksandr Zinchenko, who has been rested in the last two games, and with the summer signing Angelino who replaced Mendy against Watford and started at Preston.
Joao Cancelo also made his first start for City in midweek but the Portuguese will have to work hard if he wants to claim Kyle Walker's starting spot in major games.
Leroy Sane will not be available soon but the form of Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez has been outstanding and Guardiola would have to leave at least one of them out of the squad anyway.
Of course, he might decide to play an ultra-attacking formation with all of them spread on the field, and Sergio Aguero leading the line, but we doubt that the Spaniard would dare to field such an attacking formation when his key defenders are not on the pitch. Not after the slap in the Norwich game.
The Sky Blues have won their last three encounters with Everton, with Gabriel Jesus scoring in each of them, netting a brace in the 3-1 home win last December. However, the Brazil forward, who played 90 minutes in midweek, may have to settle for a place on the bench this time.
Sergio Aguero's form has been simply outstanding and even though he scored just once during Watford's demolition last weekend, the Argentine found the opposition's net in all six Premier League rounds so far.
Furthermore, Aguero can become only the fourth player to score in eight successive EPL matches after Daniel Sturridge, Ruud van Nistelrooy (both eight) and Jamie Vardy (11).
Captain David Silva has won 199 of his 288 Premier League games for the Manchester outfit. The experienced Spaniard can now become the 26th player to reach 200 wins, and the fastest to do so, beating John Terry's record of reaching that mark in 305 appearances.
Possible Starting Lineups of Everton and Manchester City
Everton: Jordan Pickford – Lucas Digne, Mason Holgate, Michael Keane, Seamus Coleman – Fabian Delph, Tom Davies – Alex Iwobi, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Richarlison – Dominic Calvert-Lewin. (4-2-3-1)
Manchester City: Ederson – Kyle Walker, Fernandinho, Nicolas Otamendi, Oleksandr Zinchenko – Kevin De Bruyne, Rodrigo, David Silva – Riyad Mahrez, Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling. (4-3-3)
The Toffees should come out fighting after all the criticism they faced after the shocking defeat to Sheffield United last week and the upcoming clash may actually suit them.
Well, in theory, they are not good enough defensively to hold City's firepower but let's remember what was the case against Norwich City, when everyone expected a humiliation and the Canaries had a whole starting XI of absentees.
Marco Silva will try to outwit Guardiola but the Man City boss won't be so confident in the ability of his defenders this time, so he'll likely demand more defensive responsibilities by his midfielders, if he wants to avoid the same bad scenario as at Norwich.
City's attacking quality is simply brilliant and we just don't see how they won't score at least once but the Evertonians could also benefit of the defensive crisis in the away side. Both teams have scored in five of their last seven head-to-head meetings and we're backing the same scoring market in this one.