MAN CITY v Everton – THE PREVIEW: Team News and Prediction

19 Dec

Unbeaten in nine matches in all competitions, Man City play host to a struggling Everton side, who currently languish in fifteenth position, a mere two points off the relegation places. But complacency should be cast aside, as the team from Merseyside are one of City’s bogey sides, with the Blues having lost five of the past six league meetings. This match against the Toffees is certainly a potential banana skin and is sure to be a tasty encounter. Victory for City would be sweet, but defeat would be a bitter pill to swallow and would leave a sour taste in the mouth!

Gaining momentum heading into the busy festive period is a necessity if the Blues are to keep the pressure on the sides around us in the table and heading into this fixture, recent form suggests a comfortable home win. Victory on Monday would see City top the table on Christmas day for the first time in donkey’s years but we should be aware of Everton’s threat. Although they haven’t won in the past seven matches, they have been victorious the last three times they have visited the City of Manchester Stadium, so this could be a close affair.

With regards to team selection, manager Roberto Mancini is expected to change the vast majority of the side which played in midweek against Juventus, with only Pablo Zabaleta and Jerome Boateng keeping their places. The Italian is devoid of the services of Nigel de Jong, who is suspended for this match, but Aleksandar Kolarov and, more importantly, Carlos Tévez, will return.

This will be the Argentine’s first appearance since handing in a transfer request and after the saga has unravelled the past week, it will be interesting to see the reaction of the crowd to Tévez. Mancini is expected to strip him of the captaincy, with the armband passing to the man whom most Blues’ supporters would elect, Vincent Kompany.

Here is the side Mancini will play:

                                                             Hart

Boateng                     K. Touré                    Kompany                    Kolarov

                                                          Zabaleta
                                      Y. Touré                      Barry

Silva                                                                                                         Balotelli
                                                            Tévez

Subs: Given, Richards, Lescott, Vieira, Milner, A. Johnson, Jo

The visitors are on a poor run of form, but everyone knows that their battling approach and fighting spirit will see them push City hard. Fortunately for us, their Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta is suspended, whilst Steven Pienaar and John Heitinga are doubts with injury. In Tim Cahill, they possess a top quality midfielder who is outstanding in the air and will cause City numerous problems from set pieces.

Key Battles

Pablo Zabaleta v Tim Cahill

The versatile Argentinean will probably replace Nigel de Jong in the holding midfield role and his combative nature will come to the fore in this match. City will need his energy in the centre of the park, but Pablo will have to be aware of the considerable threat of Aussie international Cahill. The former Milwall man is an expert at arriving late in the box and scoring, so we must keep an eye on him.

Yaya Touré v Jack Rodwell

Yaya had a largely unconvincing start to his City career but has been improving in recent matches. His power and ability to run with the ball have enabled him to be an asset further up the pitch and he has weighed in with a few goals recently too. Rodwell is a hugely promising midfielder, someone whose name has been linked with an England call up, so it will be a good test of his credentials to face Yaya here.

Carlos Tévez v Sylvain Distin

Distin is a former City defender, who made 178 appearances in five years at the club, forming an impressive partnership with Richard Dunne. Here, he will come up against Tévez, who will want to produce a sparkling performance after a rather difficult week.

Referee: Peter Walton – Officiated the recent City v Stoke match and is generally a solid referee.

Prediction: MAN CITY 1 – 0 Everton – I don’t think it will be the greatest spectacle ever witnessed, but I’m hoping that City will grind out the win. The goal to be scored by Carlos Tévez.

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8 Responses to “MAN CITY v Everton – THE PREVIEW: Team News and Prediction”

  1. Ricky 19/12/2010 at 5:27 pm #

    “… first time in donkey’s years…”

    >>> 81 to be precise. Since, there has been 7 popes, 4 monarchs of Great Britain and City have won 12 major trophies and gained the unfortunate accolade of being the only league champions ever to be relegated the following season (1938 if anyone cares).

    A good read as ever.

    What do you think of removing the armband from Mr Tévez?

    • View From A Blue 19/12/2010 at 5:47 pm #

      Correct decision to strip him … of the captaincy. Couldn’t have carried on with him. In theory, it should go to Kolo as he is the current vice-captain, but it will go to Kompany.

  2. rat 19/12/2010 at 7:07 pm #

    I am fairly certain that every city fan will be hoping that vinnie gets the arm band. Hopefully it dose not effect his performence.

  3. Bobby 20/12/2010 at 12:06 am #

    How about Gai Assulin? Do you think he has a chance of making the bench in the next few games?

    • View From A Blue 20/12/2010 at 9:28 am #

      I don’t think he’s registered to play until January, when the transfer will be officially confirmed by the Premier League. Then, he could have a chance, although I’d guess it will be late February/early March when we see him.

      • Bobby 20/12/2010 at 10:06 am #

        Too bad, was excited about seeing him play soon. I think he has a real chance at being special. Him or Johnson can play up top to the left or right of Balotelli if/when Tevez leaves.

  4. Connjam 20/12/2010 at 11:42 am #

    Good summing up there. Should be a walk in the park for city really but I think we (Everton) have tended to fair better against the front runners this season. Only arsenal have beaten us. You probably know yourselves that it’s easier to play agai st the teams who want to play and not shut up shop for 90mins. Tevez is the one to watch. Like moyes said, he played lescott, after expressing desire to leave and it backfired on the team. Could be interesting. But Tim Cahill enjoys your place. Here’s hoping for a good’un.

  5. Mindo 20/12/2010 at 10:05 pm #

    Yaya toure is a passenger for the last 2 years .to slow non committed to tackles.and always seems to be able to blame someone else for errors. I cannot understand how he has not yet been found out. Arsene wenger did.

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