Struggling Toffees unlikely to knock City out of their stride
Everton have failed to find the net in four of their last six Premier League matches and these are worrying times for Roberto Martinez’ team.
The Spaniard has refuted claims that there is dressing room unrest at Goodison Park with the reports claiming players are unhappy with Martinez’ belief in total football.
Perhaps a more direct approach might benefit the Toffees on occasions but they’ll certainly have to be at their best to prevent Manchester City taking maximum points this weekend.
Everton have one of the smallest squads in the Premier League and injuries to key players hit them harder than most.
Martinez admits he’s looking for a new goalkeeper after an injury to Tim Howard – he clearly doesn’t have much faith in understudy Joel Robles with the former Getafe stopper having been beaten six times in three matches since replacing Howard.
Leighton Baines has an ongoing problem which needs managing. He was left out of the squad that faced West Ham in the FA Cup on Tuesday, a game in which only a stoppage-time equaliser from Romelu Lukaku kept alive the Merseysiders’ interest in the competition.
That was the first time in five matches that Everton had avoided defeat and the manager may decide to shuffle his pack again against the champions with John Stones, Samuel Eto’o and Aiden McGeady all pushing for a recall.
Antonio Alcaraz is available for selection again for the Toffees following suspension but Sylvain Distin misses out.
Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko are back in training with City but this game may come too soon and Yaya Toure is away on Africa Cup Of Nations duty.
But stand-ins James Milner, who scored twice against Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup last week, and David Silva have kept City’s winning run going.
Silva has scored five times in City’s last six Premier League games and is 7/4 to be an anytime scorer at Goodison.
Martinez has faced City 11 times as a Premier League manager and never been on the winning side.
In fact, he’s only avoided defeat once and the defending champions should keep up their title push in this one at 5/6 given the current form of the two teams. City to win by two goals is 7/4.
The match kicks off at 3.00pm on Saturday, January 10th at Goodison Park.