|It will take more than luck for Everton to escape Etihad Stadium without a battering when they meet on Saturday. (Photo credit: Sky Sports)|
Manchester City vs EvertonEtihad Stadium4:00pm
It’s a little surprising that win or lose here, the champions won’t start the new year on top of the table and that’s to give lots of credit to Mikel Arteta and his Arsenal side but the Cityzens can ensure they don’t finish the calendar year outside the top two with a win here.
The fans deserve to experience victory after suffering a shock loss to Brentford the last time they made it to the Etihad to watch their men. A 97th-minuteth minute Ivan Toney winner handed the Bees a sensational win before the World Cup break, Everton must pay for that.
It’s a dire time for Frank Lampard and Everton and the last team he wants to see on the fixture list is Manchester City. Everton lost at home on Boxing Day to Wolves from a winning position and now has to face the best team in the land as a redemption assignment.
Can Everton possibly pick anything at the Etihad? Impossibility is nothing but they will have to play like a team with ambition; they can’t afford to slip up or allow spaces behind them; some teams have taken points off City this season, so what’s stopping the Toffees?
How will Everton line up? They have issues with fitness but Dominic Calvert Lewin is available for selection and he will offer something different to the forward line for Everton, Yeri Mina is a doubt but Mason Holgate is available again.
City can welcome back Bernardo Silva to the starting lineup, Erling Haaland has scored more goals than Everton this season and they know the threat he poses upfront; Phil Foden is likely to be trusted to start while Kevin De Bruyne will be a problem as always.
Only a win can guarantee Everton a place outside the drop zone going into the new year and if they stay disciplined and compact in defense while taking their half chance when they get one, they can cause an upset that would fire them on.