Manchester City look to begin the decade with a win as they host Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton at the Etihad Stadium on New Years Day, with the Blues on a club-record run of four straight victories against the Toffees.
Pep Guardiola’s side have thankfully come out of the hectic schedule of the past week unscathed as the boss announced that there were no new injury concerns. The welcoming news means that both David Silva and John Stones will be in contention to play against Everton while Ederson can also return to the team after serving his one match ban. There was even more welcoming news as the boss announced that Aymeric Laporte is “one week to ten days” away from resuming first team training, however both the Frenchman and Leroy Sané will be unavailable for the first game of the year.
Carlo Ancelotti also has no new injury concerns with Alex Iwobi and Jean-Philipe Gbamin still sidelined, but former Manchester United player Morgan Schneiderlin could come back from injury subject to a late fitness test.
Head To Head
Everton haven’t won at the Etihad since December of 2010 and have since suffered four draws and four defeats. Manchester City have won the last four meetings, and on three of those occasions the full time score has been 3-1. This includes the meeting back in September, where goals from Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez in the final 20 minutes secured a 3-1 victory. Overall, the game on New Years Day will be the 188th between the two North West teams, with Manchester City having won 72, drawn 47 and lost 68.
Manchester City remain in third place, one point behind Leicester City, but a whopping 14 behind Liverpool. They have however won five of their last six home matches and have won three of their last five league games and have a six point cushion between themselves and Chelsea in 4th place.
Everton on the other hand have endured some success since sacking Marco Silva, with them unbeaten in their last five league matches and looking to make it three straight league wins under the new manager. They now sit 10th in the league after results against Chelsea, United, and Arsenal in recent weeks.
Since joining the Merseyside side club Ancelotti has trialled both a 3-4-1-2 formation and 4-4-2 formation with success and you would think Everton will look to take the game to City. They could however look to be more defensive at the Etihad leaving the in-form Calvert-Lewin up top. City on the other hand will hope to neutralise the counter-attacking threat with the usual 4-3-3 set up, despite Pep opting to move to a 3-4-3 in the second half against Sheffield at the weekend, with Rodri moving alongside Fernandinho and Garcia.
Andre Marriner will begin his new year alongside assistants Scott Ledger and Simon Long at the Etihad on News Year’s evening. Last season’s FA Cup final referee, Kevin Friend, will be the fourth official, while David Coote and Andy Halliday view proceedings from Stockley Park.
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