The vultures are beginning to circle round Everton manager Marco Silva following the Toffees’ poor start to the 2019/20 campaign and with champions Manchester City arriving Merseyside in ruthless, free-scoring form, the Everton boss would be counting on his Nigerian import and other stars to pull off an unlikely upset.
Super Eagles star Alex Iwobi, who only played the last half hour in the Toffees’s last defeat at home to Sheffield United, is in line to return to the starting XI against City as Everton seek a way to improve on their inconsistent form.
The pressure is truly on for Marco Silva whose side has taken just seven points from their first six Premier League matches of the season with the Merseysiders coming into their meeting with the Citizens on the back of successive league defeats to Bournemouth and Sheffield United.
Gallingly, two of Everton’s three total Premier League defeats this season came against newly promoted clubs Aston Villa and Sheffield United – results that have understandably set alarm bells ringing among the Toffees support.
The timing of City’s visit could not be any worse as Pep Guardiola’s men have fully recovered from their shock 2-3 loss at Norwich on September 14th, winning three games on the spin since and scoring a mammoth 14 goals in the process.
This game screams goals from a million miles out. Manchester City’s incredible attack are not shy to rack up the goals, with the champions blasting eight goals past Watford in their last league outing.
Add that to the fact that Raheem Sterling and teammates have found the back of the net three times or more in six of their eight fixtures since their opening day 5-0 mauling of West Ham in London, and it won’t be beyond the realm of possibility for Guardiola’s phenomenal frontline to tear plenty of holes in Everton’s defence this weekend.
The Citizens are not without their defensive issues however, having conceded in three of their last four Premier League away matches.
Iwobi and co should have some joy at some point against a team with serious injury problems at centre-half to contend with.
Pep Guardiola’s first trip to Goodison in January 2017 ended in a 4-0 defeat – his biggest loss as City manager.
But Man City have been significantly better since, sweeping Everton aside in each of their last three Premier League meetings with them, hitting the net three times in two of those three contests.
What Pep Guardiola says
“They (Everton) remain an incredible team,” said Pep.
“They invested well last season and this.
“Goodison Park always one of the toughest games, and we know it. We have already prepared. The players know how difficult it is.”
Summer signings Andre Gomes and Jean-Philippe Gbamin are the only absentees to Marco Silva.
The Portuguese fielded a strong lineup in the cup at Sheffield Wednesday and after a 2-0 win the coach may be tempted to reward the same starting XI.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin will surely get the nod over Moise Kean having scored both goals in Tuesday’s victory over Sheffield Wednesday, while Mason Holgate and Tom Davies could also keep their place.
Having rotated his squad in midweek, Pep Guardiola’s biggest decision will arguably be whether to recall Raheem Sterling to the starting XI having missed out in the 8-0 rout over Watford.
Bernardo Silva played the 90 minutes at Preston and could be the man rested should the England international regain his place in the league.
Man City have won 18 of their last 20 matches (Premier League).
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Man City’s last 7 games (Premier League).
Man City have scored at least 2 goals in their last 7 matches (Premier League).
Man City have been winning at both half time and full time in 5 of their last 7 matches (Premier League). (whoscored.com)
A City win is the most likely outcome with the game seeing three or more goals scored.