Manchester City-Everton Match Preview
Manchester City will look to rebound from their first Premier League loss in over three months against an Everton squad that have lost four out of their last five in the league.
Frank Lampard's team currently sit just two points above the drop zone. In order to secure their top flight status for next season, the Toffees must distance themselves from Burnley, Watford, and Norwich City.
Meanwhile, City find themselves in similar situation to Everton, albeit on the opposite end of the table. City's lead atop the Premier League has shrunk to just three points following Liverpool's successive victories against Norwich and Leeds.
Pep Guardiola will want to avoid another title race that comes down to the very last day. That, combined with juggling the latter stages of the Champions League and FA Cup would put even City's ridiculously deep squad to the test.
Everton will most likely attempt to replicate Spurs' strategy from last week, sit deep and look to hurt City on the Counter. Unfortunately for them, they neither possess the same quality up front as Spurs nor have they shown an ability to keep the ball out of their net in recent weeks. The Toffees have conceded eight goals, and only scored five of their own across their last five league games.
With Liverpool in close pursuit and a manageable midweek FA Cup against Peterborough offering a chance to rest key players, Guardiola will most likely play the 11 that he deems his best available for the match.
The on area where he is likely to make changes is at the back. Aymeric Laporte and Kyle Walker were far from terrible against Spurs, but neither player proved himself indispensable. That's especially the case with John Stones looking to find his way off the bench and into Guardiola's 11.
Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, and Bernardo Silva are all likely to keep their place. With a three point result being so crucial, Guardiola will need his most effective attacking options on the field together.
Speaking of effective attacking options, one would figure that Riyad Mahrez will start on Saturday. The Algerian has been in marvelous form, and cooly blasted home a stoppage time penalty to momentarily bring last week's match against Spurs level.
Despite currently occupying opposite ends of the table, both Manchester City and Everton desperately need to pull three points from the match.
Hopefully that leads to an entertaining match.