Manchester City will be looking to put defeats to Bayern Munich and Aston Villa behind them when they face an unbeaten Everton side at The Etihad on Saturday.
Everton have won 3 and drawn 3 of their opening 6 games under new manager Roberto Martinez and are the only unbeaten team left in the Premier League. Everton find themselves 2 points and 3 places above Manchester City in the table and will be looking to keep, if not increase, that gap.
The Toffees have averaged 5.13% more of the possession and completed 5% more of their passes than they did last season, with the players already adapting to Roberto Martinez’s tiki-taka style of football. Everton have played 7% more of their passes in their own half this season, preferring a more patient build up of play whilst also improving their final third passing accuracy by an impressive 7%.
Manchester City have dominated games in terms of passing this season, averaging 59.7% possession and completing 86% of their 3228 passes, and are the top goalscorers this season with 14 goals. They have taken 10 points from their opening 6 games, winning 3, drawing 1 and losing 2 – with their most notable result coming in a 4-1 demolition of local rivals Manchester United.
However, 3-2 away defeats at Aston Villa and Cardiff have put a dent in City’s impressive start, with questions starting to grow about Joe Hart after he made two errors that led to goals this season, as well as his performance against Bayern Munich.
Jack Rodwell will miss the game against his old side with a muscle strain, while new signing Martin Demichelis remains out with a knee injury. David Silva will be pushing for a start after returning against Bayern Munich in midweek.
Steven Pienaar and Antolin Alcaraz remain out for Everton, while Darron Gibson and Kevin Mirallas fate late fitness tests after the Belgian international limped off against Newcastle last weekend.
Gareth Barry is unavailable to play against his parent club.
- Manchester City have had the joint most shots on target this season (37).
- Everton players have been fouled 82 times this season, which is more than any other team.
- Everton have won 6 of their last 8 games against Manchester City in the Premier League.
- Yaya Toure has made the most passes in the Premier League this season (479).
- Romelu Lukaku has scored 3 goals from just 4 shots on target this season.
Yaya Toure has been Manchester City’s driving force this season and has put in some outstanding displays in their opening six games.
The Ivorian has completed an impressive 91% of his 479 passes so far this season and has been the player to make City tick so far this season with some all-action displays in the middle of the park. His pace, power and confidence on the ball has only seen him be dispossessed 3 times so far this season with teams struggling to deal with him successfully.
Toure is City’s top goalscorer in the Premier League this season with 4 goals, scoring a goal every 135 minutes. Toure has also hit the target with 71% of his shots and converted 57% of his chances, scoring 4 goals from just 7 shots.
As well as being City’s top goalscorer and the Premier League’s top passer this season, Toure also has some pretty impressive defensive stats showing just how much of an all round player he is. Yaya has won 82% of his 11 tackles, 60% of his 10 aerial duels and 52% of his 42 ground duels, making a tackle every 49 minutes.
If Everton are to get anything out of this game then they will need ensure that Yaya Toure isn’t able to play his normal game and dominate the midfield.
Everton have had some impressive displays from Leighton Baines and Ross Barkley to name a few this season, but Romelu Lukaku is the player Everton have been missing the last few seasons – an out and out goalscorer.
Lukaku has already netted 3 goals in his first 135 minutes for Everton, which is a goal every 45 minutes. An impressive start to his season long loan at Goodison Park. The Belgian has hit the target with 67% of his shots and converted 50% of them into goals, which is a vast improvement on Jelavic, who only converted 10% of his chances last season.
As well as netting three times already this season, Lukaku already has one assist and created a chance every 45 minutes for his team.
Lukaku scored 17 Premier League goals last season, which was 4 more than Jelavic and Anichebe managed between them and converted 21% of his chances which is a vast improvement on Jelavic (10%) and Anichebe (13%).
If Lukaku can replicate his form in front of goal from last season, then Everton will finally have the goalscorer they have been searching for even if it is just for one season.
Manchester City 1-1 Everton