The State of Play
After a difficult run of form in terms of results and performances, as well as several absentees, throughout November and early December, Manchester City have fought back well to put the Premier League title race into their own hands. Their 3-1 defeat of Brentford last weekend means they have now enjoyed nine successive victories across all competitions, scoring 27 goals in that run of form.
Everton immediately reacted well to their ten-point deduction in November but The Toffees now begin this weekend’s round of fixtures sitting in the bottom three and the relegation places after a really difficult start to 2024. Sean Dyche’s side have shared three successive draws ahead of this one, meaning they have now managed just one win in their last ten matches across all competitions.
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Remarkably, after the first half of the season in which they were missing four or five key players, Manchester City have a fully fit and available squad; they are the only team in the Premier League to be blessed with that.
Arnaud Danjuma, Andre Gomes and Dele Alli are definite absentees for Everton, whilst Sean Dyche is also contending with a few key doubts as Abdoulaye Doucoure, Ben Godfrey and Amadou Onana are all potentially unavailable for their trip to the Etihad Stadium.
Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Dias, Ake, Gvardiol; Rodri, Silva; Foden, De Bruyne, Doku; Haaland
Everton: Pickford; Coleman, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko; Young, Gueye, Garner, McNeil; Harrison; Calvert-Lewin
What they Said
In the build-up to Manchester City’s defeat of Brentford, Pep Guardiola was drawn on the future of Erling Haaland with reports from Spain suggesting the Norwegian is unhappy. “You have to ask the media from Madrid – maybe they have more info than we have! We don’t have that feeling. We cannot say he didn’t adapt quickly and he was not fine since he arrived. It’s the level he showed since he arrived on day one. We cannot control what people say.”
Sean Dyche has talked of the points deduction meaning there is now a ‘truth line’ within the club, getting everybody to commit to the correct level for the final few months of the season. “It’s difficult, there’s a lot of challenges but when I walked in it was even more challenging, we’ve managed to sort a few out I think we’ve hit a ‘truth line’ through the club.”
When and How to Watch
This match will take place at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday February 10th at 12:30 and will be shown live on TNT Sports. It can also be streamed live on the TNT Sports app.
As mentioned, Manchester City have won nine in a row and averaged three goals per game in that run of form. They now face an Everton side that have one win in ten and have managed to score just seven goals in that time. Everton were as mis-matched against City last season but still produced a solid performance to earn a surprise 1-1 draw at the Etihad on New Year’s Eve but a comfortable home win with a clean sheet is to be expected in this one.