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Everton v Man City | Match Stats Preview

The Sky Sports cameras will be at Goodison Park on Tuesday, as Everton host Manchester City. The contrast between the two teams could not be greater, as City buy their way to success, Everton have to sell before they can strengthen. The Toffee’s last cash signing was Darron Gibson for an initial £250,000, City’s was Gael Clichy for £6.8 million. Everton’s last ten transfers equate to less than £2 million.

City holds the edge in the quality and cash department and Everton have the edge in recent meetings, winning seven of the last nine league meetings. Everton’s Premier League record against City, at Goodison Park, is equally impressive. The Toffees have eight wins to City’s two with four games ending in draws.

Everton head into the game, fresh from their FA Cup win over Fulham. The Toffees won 2 – 1 via Denis Stracqualursi’s first goal, for the club, and a Marouane Fellaini’s header. Manchester City had the weekend off after a 3 – 2 defeat, to rivals United, in the previous round.

Everton have injuries to contend with ahead of the game. Tuesday may come too soon for Sylvain Distin and Jack Rodwell (both Hamstring), as they close in on returns. Ross Barkley’s return to fitness may earn him a place on the bench. Phil Jagielka and Leon Osman (both Knee) remain weeks away from fitness and Seamus Coleman is nursing a thigh injury.

Manchester City boasts a clean bill of health. The Toure brothers, Yaya and Kolo, are at the African Cup of Nations with the Ivory Coast. A big boost for the visitors is the return of Vincent Kompany, the centre back has completed his four-match ban. Joleon Lescott can expect a hostile welcome against his former club. Mario Balotelli is absent, as he begins his four-match suspension.

Despite Everton’s impressive record against City, they will be up against it on Tuesday night. The Toffees have struggled at Goodison Park, this season, registering one clean sheet. City fans have seen their team score 26 goals, away from the Etihad, this season. Everton have scored 22 goals, home and away.

During the previous meeting, Everton tried to stifle David Silva with man marking. David Moyes may push Phil Neville into midfield, to mark Silva, and recall Tony Hibbert at right back. The midfield pairing of Fellaini and Gibson is starting to grow and breaking that up is a risk. It is imperative that Everton cut off Silva’s supply line. The Spaniard’s 12 assists is a league high.

City can rely on various players to create chances for them, whilst Everton are heavily reliant on Leighton Baines. With Everton’s second and third most creative players injured, the burden on Baines’ shoulders has increased. Baines’ 51 chances are testament to his ability going forward but the midfield is letting Everton down. Silva clearly leads the way for City; however, their other top creators are not far behind.

Recently, when faced with Top 4 teams, Moyes tends to adopt a negative approach. This involves using defenders in midfield, in theory, making the team compact and harder to beat. This approach has failed to secure a positive result for Everton, so far, this season. The matches have followed a similar pattern; Everton defend deep, as they attempt to keep the opposition at bay. This was clear at the Etihad, earlier in the season, when Everton defended well and barely crossed the halfway line. Eventually, a deflection and a mistake gave City the goals they needed.

The visitor’s expensively assembled squad are clear favourites for this game and rightly so. The home crowd will expect Everton to pressurise the City players and the crowd will respond to this, as they did against Fulham on Friday. Everton are at their best when applying pressure, high up the pitch, and closing down the opposition.

With the Goodison crowd behind them, it is imperative that Moyes and his players show attacking intent. Coupled with Everton’s edge, in recent meetings, the Toffees may surprise a few people on Tuesday.

Match Facts

  • Everton’s have failed to win their last 5 fixtures played on the 31st January. Their last win on this date came in 1989
  • The visitors have failed to score in 6 of their 14 Premier League visits to Goodison Park
  • 73% – The number of Everton goals scored, in the second half, this season – a league high
Luke O'Farrell
Luke O'Farrellhttp://www.viewfromtheroyalbluemersey.wordpress.com
Write about Everton for ESPN and EPL Index. Evertonian with a keen interest in the tactical and statistical. Twitter: @lukeofarrell
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