Manchester City v. Everton (Dec. 14)
Manchester City showed the world that they were, in fact, fallible this last weekend with a lost to Chelsea. This is a Chelsea side that was coming off a loss to Wolves and really had no place to beat them, but this is why we play the games. Everton are coming off of a loss to Liverpool, followed by consecutive draws with Newcastle and Watford. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that both sides really want to do better.
This Manchester City has been the odds on favorite to repeat, but history isn’t on their side. Only their nemesis has been able to secure a repeat (or a three peat). Coming off of a record setting season, they didn’t spend heavily like some others (namely Chelsea and Liverpool), but this does nothing to temper the expectations.
Pep will no doubt be interested in how his team responds to what he will fire as a disappointing loss. Everton has really been on the outside looking in this season, so undoubtedly Pep will be pushing for a win to get back on track.
Manchester City has been lights out at home (really everywhere, until the loss). Their home form has them scoring more than 2.8 goals per game and allowing just over a half-goal per game. Manchester City is almost split exactly fifty-fifty in terms of goals scored, however, they’ve been far more apt to concede in the first half. Their opponents have conceded nearly twice the goals in the second half which they would definitely like to capitalize on.
This was supposed to be a different sort of year for Everton. They brought in Marco Silva who was on a year, along with one his best players from a year ago. They showed they weren’t afraid to spend to try and compete in the Premier League. However, they haven’t had the results to back it up.
Silva’s team started out in great form in terms of both goals and wins. Since then, however, Richarlison has struggled to maintain his goal scoring and Everton has followed his example. The gap continues to grow for Everton to find a landing place amongst the top four. The gap is currently 10 points and the Toffees can’t allow it to continue to grow.
Everton have a tall task in front of them undoubtedly, and their away form has not been great. Everton actually allows more goals to be scored against them on average away than they score. They are averaging one goal scored while conceding just shy of a goal and a half. This is not a recipe for success against a prolific offense like the Citizens. Furthermore Everton have shown themselves to be somewhat of a second half side — both in goals scored and goals conceded.
What to expect from the matchup
The neutrals are expecting a rather one-sided match with four or more goals scored. At this juncture they are all expected to go the way of huge favorites Manchester City.
I definitely think that City will return to form here against a struggling Toffees side. However, I don’t think the matchup will he quite as one sided as the neutrals are expecting. Everton will be pushing to return to form also, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them sneak a goal for the away side.