Everton’s poor form this term has been a mystery to most with Roberto Martinez’ team drastically underperforming following a successful first season under the Spaniard.
Four Premier League defeats on the spin for Everton have amazingly raised questions about Martinez’ future, while Manchester City couldn’t have asked for a better run, especially without their talisman Sergio Aguero, as they travel to Goodison on the back of nine Premier League victories in their last 10.
This is the start of an important period for Manchester City as they travel to a ground they’ve not been fond of over the years. City then host Arsenal before Middlesbrough visit for the FA Cup 4th round, and Stamford Bridge awaits a clash of the top two at the end of January.
Aguero is working his way back to fitness at just the right time, while Martinez' injury list remains uncontrollably long.
Everton are starting to really lose their grasp on the possibility of even a top half finish, let alone a Europa League spot, as they sit in 13th place. Being closer to the relegation places than the top half is something Everton fans have not been accustomed to so late in the season in recent years.
With City locked dead with Chelsea level on all figures by January, it seems this two-horse race could be one of the toughest to call in living memory.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Manchester City 1 (Toure) Everton 0, Premier League, December 2014
Everton 2 (Barkley, Lukaku) Manchester City 3 (Aguero, Dzeko 2), Premier League, May 2014
Manchester City 3 (Aguero, Negredo, Howard OG) Everton 1 (Lukaku), Premier League, October 2013
Everton have won just one of their last 10 in all competitions.
Manchester City have won just three times at Goodison Park in the history of the Premier League, and only twice in the last 22 years.
City have failed to keep a clean sheet at Goodison since a goalless draw in December 2003.
Roberto Martinez has never beaten Manchester City as a manager.
Everton failed to score only twice at Goodison Park in the Premier League in the 2014 calendar year.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side have drawn a blank in only one their last 24 games in all competitions.
From the beginning of March 2014, only Bayern Munich have stopped Manchester City scoring an away goal.
In the past 21 fixtures between the teams, only twice has either side scored more than two goals in a game.
Everton to win: 4.33
Manchester City to win: 1.92
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