Jose Mourinho’s tactical masterclass at Anfield put Manchester City in the driving seat to win their second Premier League title, but they would not have chosen Goodison Park as their next stop on the road. Everton have beaten Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United at home this season, and have become City’s bogey team in recent years. The Goodison Park crowd have only seen their side lose once to City since the turn of the century.
Four dropped points against Liverpool and Sunderland hampered City’s title challenge, but two wins on the spin and the irrepressible form of Yaya Toure - who has six goals in as many games - means that the blue half of Manchester is starting to believe again. The blue half of Merseyside, however, has seen their run of seven consecutive wins come to a halt at just the wrong time with defeats against Crystal Palace and Southampton.
With the Toffees’ Champions League hopes fading fast, some fans may not mind seeing an away victory on Saturday if it means stopping rivals Liverpool from winning the title. City’s cause will be helped by Everton’s on-loan midfield mainstay Gareth Barry being ineligible to play against his parent club, while Kevin Mirallas is also out, through injury.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 5:30pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Man City 3 (Negredo, Aguero, Howard O.G.) Everton 1 (Lukaku), Premier League, October 2013
Everton 2 (Osman, Jelavic) Man City 0, Premier League, March 2013
Man City 1 (Tevez) Everton 1 (Fellaini), Premier League, December 2012
City beat Everton at home in October, but have not done the double over the Toffees since the 1980/1981 season.
Everton have only lost one home game to Man City in the last 21 years.
With 23 goals this term, Yaya Toure has scored as many as Everton’s top two goalscorers - Romelu Lukaku and Steven Naismith - combined.
The Toffees have won of their last six matches at Goodison Park.
In the process of hitting 93 league goals, Man City have failed to score in just four games. Only Liverpool have a better record.
Everton to win: 5.0
Man City to win: 1.66
In January 2012, former Man Utd player Darron Gibson’s 20-yard rocket was enough to give Everton a 1-0 win and put a dent in City’s eventually successful title push. The game was also memorable for the spectator who handcuffed himself to Joe Hart’s left post. An unprecedented event, it required the game to be stopped for five minutes as police used bolt-cutters to free the protester.
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