EPL Betting Preview and Free Plays: Everton vs. Manchester City – Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019
Matchup at a Glance
When: Wednesday, February 6, 2019, at 02:45 PM
Where: Goodison Park, Liverpool, England.
Odds: Everton +850, Draw +440, Manchester City -333 @ BetOnline
The 3-1 victory over Arsenal came right on time and combined with Liverpool's Monday night slip up at West Ham, Pep Guardiola's men are now in a position to add extra pressure to the title race.
Of course, we shouldn't underestimate Spurs who are only two points behind the Citizens, but City will be leaders for the first time in 2019 if they snatch the three points at Goodison Park.
Everton, on the other hand, doesn't have many reasons to celebrate despite their transfer activity and hopes to be more competitive to the established top-six sides. Marco Silva's men are currently ninth and can climb up to eighth if they manage to bounce back from the weekend's defeat to Wolves.
Head-to-Head Stats (H2H)
Manchester City have won two of their last three Premier League visits to Goodison Park, as many as they had in their previous 17 away games against Everton in the competition.
The Sky Blues also won at home when both clubs met earlier in the season when a brace from Gabriel Jesus and the third goal from Raheem Sterling were enough to seal them a 3-1 victory at Etihad Stadium.
Everton's last win was two years ago, in January 2017, when City was totally outclassed by Ronald Koeman's Everton who smashed them 4-0 at Goodison Park. This remains Pep Guardiola's heaviest ever defeat in domestic league action.
Everton – Team News
By bringing in several Barcelona players and potentially breaking their highest transfer fee paid for the arrival of Richarlison, Evertonians were probably expecting to be much closer to top-six, instead of being 11 points above the relegation zone, while they're 14 points behind sixth Arsenal.
Marco Silva is under huge pressure following a run of just three wins in 12 Premier League games when his squad will have to prove loyalty against the spectacular reigning champions. Moreover, the Toffees have been knocked out of the FA Cup by a lower division opposition in Millwall's face, so the remaining Premier League rounds are their only showroom.
Coming after a 3-1 home defeat to Wolves, Everton will stay at the Goodison Park where they've lost three of their five league games. Their poor run of form continued at the weekend when the team was booed by its own fans and this wasn't so encouraging.
Veteran Leighton Baines was forced off midway through the first half of Everton's 3-1 home defeat to Wolves on Saturday and will miss out here. However, Lucas Digne is available again after serving a one-match ban and should replace Baine.
Colombian defender Yerry Mina is another absentee for the home side, while captain Phil Jagielka still recovers from a muscle injury.
With Jagielka and Mina sidelined, the center-back pairing of Kurt Zouma and Michael Keane remains an only option – flanked either side by Lucas Digne, who gladly returns following a suspension, and Seamus Coleman.
Idrissa Gueye has missed the last two rounds through injury, though also missed out on a deadline day move to Paris Saint-Germain. Nevertheless, Marco Silva has told Everton’s official Youtube channel that Idrissa Gueye will be back for tomorrow’s match.
The 20-year-old local lad Tom Davies will probably replace Gueye if he is not fit enough to feature from the outset, but Morgan Schneiderlin and James McCarthy are also in contention.
Meanwhile, the front three (both wingers and the center-forward) could be changed, at least two of them. If we assume that top scorer Richarlison (10 Premier League goals) is a sure starter, Bernard and Dominic Calvert-Lewin could start at the expense of Theo Walcott and Cenk Tosun respectively.
Theo Walcott has scored five goals against Manchester City in the Premier League. Only against West Ham United (6) has he scored more in the competition. Those five goals have come in his last seven appearances against the Citizens.
Jonjoe Kenny and Ademola Lookman are two other youngsters who are eager to earn a starting berth in Everton's lineup, but Marco Silva will most likely rely on his experienced figures here.
Manchester City – Team News
Even though the Citizens have lost three of their last five away Premier League matches, more than they had in their previous 34, Pep Guardiola's side are favorites to avoid another setback. Moreover, they have an excellent opportunity to leapfrog Liverpool at least for a while.
Encouraged by Sergio Aguero's performance against Arsenal, which saw the 30-year-old Argentina international scoring his 10th Premier League hat-trick (only Alan Shearer has more – 11), Man City returned to winning ways after an unexpected stumble at Newcastle last week.
Aguero has also scored in each of his last four games in all competitions. In that time, he scored six times from eight shots on target and played just 249 of the 360 minutes available. The Argentinian now has a remarkable 157 goals and 41 assists on his tally across his 227 EPL appearances.
In the process, Kun Aguero also became City’s first player to be directly involved in 20 goals this Premier League campaign, with 14 goals and six assists in 21 appearances. However, considering Guardiola's manner, we wouldn't be surprised if Gabriel Jesus starts instead as the Man City boss likes to rotate his squad.
Pep Guardiola will be forced into more changes as Benjamin Mendy's knee is still not completely fine and the 2018 World Cup Champion is expected to miss out again. Aymeric Laporte, who started at left-back against Arsenal, should return at center-back while Fabian Delph will play wide.
Kevin De Bruyne barely had a preseason and the Belgian playmaker may be rested for the upcoming weekend clash against Chelsea after playing a lot of games in quick succession since recovering from another knee injury.
John Stones, Leroy Sane and Riyad Mahrez are other players who are eager to return to the starting XI, after dropping to the bench last time out.
And if Stones looks set to start at center-back alongside Laporte, Sane and Mahrez must challenge the likes of Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva. However, the latter can be pulled back to midfield where he usually plays this season.
In addition to Mendy's injury woes, Claudio Bravo, Eliaquim Mangala and captain Vincent Kompany are also sidelined.
Possible Starting Lineups of Everton and Manchester City
Everton: Jordan Pickford – Seamus Coleman, Michael Keane, Kurt Zouma, Lucas Digne – Idrissa Gueye, Andre Gomes – Bernard, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Richarlison – Dominic Calvert-Lewin. (4-2-3-1)
Manchester City: Ederson – Fabian Delph, Aymeric Laporte, John Stones, Kyle Walker – David Silva, Fernandinho, Bernardo Silva – Leroy Sane, Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling. (4-3-3)
Man City Are Strong Favorites But Everton Will Probably Score
With two away games in a row as well as a home clash against Merseyside rivals Liverpool on schedule, Marco Silva simply cannot afford to give up against Pep Guardiola's side, although the home fans would be happy to see their city rivals losing the title race to Man City.
Manchester City look fearsome and the Citizens surely appreciate the favor of their former manager Manuel Pellegrini, whose current club West Ham did quite well to stop Liverpool. Now it's up to Pep Guardiola and his game plan – the Sky Blues are once again main favorites of the bookmakers to win the Premier League (-110 @ BetOnline) although they remain three points behind the Merseysiders.
Many would agree that Manchester City have the best squad among all Premier League clubs and definitely one of the most well equipped midfields and attacks in Europe. However, their defense seems to be the main issue – City have conceded in 10 of their last 12 league games.
Both teams have scored in each of their last three Premier League meetings and in five of the last six meetings in all competitions. City were winners in three of them – 3-1 each.