Manchester City welcome Everton to the Etihad, as they look to pick up three points to keep pace with Liverpool and Arsenal at the top of the Premier League table.
- Date: 10/02/24
- Kick-off time: 12:30
- Venue: Etihad Stadium
The Premier League weekend begins with a crucial game at both ends of the table between Man City and Everton. Pep Guardiola’s side could be in line for their ninth victory in a row when they go up against Everton following their 3-1 win at Brentford on Monday night. City currently sit second, two points behind leaders Liverpool, but with one game in hand. Despite a tough stretch of results in December, the league champions have recovered well to give themselves an excellent chance of retaining their crown. Liverpool and Arsenal will not make it easy, but they have been boosted by the recent returns of Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland from injury.
In contrast, Everton are in a relegation battle, following their ten-point deduction earlier this season. The deduction has left them in the bottom three with 19 points, one off safety. They will come into this game following a stoppage-time equaliser at home to Tottenham last weekend, and Sean Dyche will hope that his side can carry this momentum into what is arguably the toughest fixture of the season.
Haaland’s return came last week in City’s 3-1 win over Burnley. The Norwegian made an appearance off the bench. The Citizens have multiple goalscorers they can rely on, but they will be relieved to be able to call upon one of their star men once again. In just 17 league games this season, Haaland has scored 14 times, which has him joint top alongside Mo Salah.
If Everton are to get anything from this game, they will have to get past the league’s third-best defence and contain the best attack. However, goals have been hard to come by for the Toffees, as their 26 goals scored is the third worst in the division. They are led by Abdoulaye Doucoure’s six goals, but the midfielder has been sidelined with a hamstring injury. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is second with just three goals, though the striker has not scored since late October.
This fixture is one that has been heavily dominated by Manchester City, especially in recent seasons, with Pep Guardiola’s men winning 12 of the last 13 meetings in all competitions. The other game ended in a draw. Such is City’s dominance, Everton have not recorded a win against this weekend’s opponents since January 2017, in which they famously won 4-0 at Goodison Park in Guardiola’s first season in the Premier League. Romelu Lukaku, Kevin Mirallas, Tom Davies and Ademola Lookman were all on the scoresheet that day.
The two sides met in the reverse fixture just before the new year, as City won 3-1 on the road. They fell behind to a Jack Harrison goal after half an hour, but turned it around in the second half with goals from Phil Foden, Julian Alvarez and Bernardo Silva.