Stats - Five areas Everton can hurt Manchester City

Roberto Martinez

Everton head to the Etihad Stadium this weekend looking to preserve their unbeaten record in the Premier League.

Roberto Martinez has done superbly with Everton this season, getting his side to play good football while staying well organised across every section of the team.

Everton are one of the only sides left in England yet to lose a match this season and if they can get through this clash against Manchester City, they will have the confidence they can keep that run going for much longer.

Here are five areas where the stats suggest Everton can hurt Manchester City.

Possession

Everton have quickly turned into a typical Roberto Martinez side; a team that likes to dominate possession.

Everton are keeping the ball 58% of the time in matches this season, which is only 1.7% worse than Manchester City’s average possession stat.

What that suggests is that Everton can get on the ball, they won’t give it back easily, enabling them to put the City back four under a lot of pressure.

Passing

Everton’s passing success rate this season is also very impressive at 84.4%.

Again that’s not too dissimilar to City, who have a success rate which is only 1.9% better than Everton.

It shows that Everton are a side that like to play simple passes all over the pitch, whether they are trying to play out from defence, control the game in the middle or looking for a way through in attack.

Aerially

The stats suggest that for as good as Everton are on the ground, they are winning more aerial challenges than Manchester City.

Everton are winning 17.5 aerial duels per game on average compared to City’s 15.7.

Everton have one of the best set piece and dead ball specialists in the Premier League in the form of Leighton Baines and a won header leading to a goal from a free kick or corner could make the difference.

Tackling

There is nothing between these sides in terms of tackling, only a .1 advantage to City in terms of tackles per game.

It suggests that Everton have as good a chance as City of trying to win the ball back in the middle of the pitch and in their own defensive third.

If Everton can break up City attacks quickly, they can build their own momentum and setup fast paced and effective counter attacks from a variety of positions.

Interceptions

Another area where Everton excel more than City is interceptions.

Everton are making more interceptions per game on average than their opponents which is very significant. They prevent a pass from being completed 11.5 times per game on average.

One of the best ways for Everton to contain City in this game is to make sure the ball doesn’t reach a City player in the first place.

See also: Can Martinez do what Moyes couldn't...?

image: © illarterate

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