To be played on Saturday 3rd May 2014 at 17:30. Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool.
Last season: 2-0
Preview & injury news
An intriguing encounter awaits at Goodison Park. Everton's chances of getting into the Champions League are very slim after last weekend's defeat on the south coast against Southampton, which means they are five points behind Arsenal with two games to go. Manchester City, however, now have the initiative in the title race is because if they win their remaining three games, the chances are they will win the title, possibly on goal difference, for the second time in three years. However, this weekend's trip to Goodison Park is a difficult one for City as their record isn't pretty poor having lost each of their last four encounters there, and won only once in the Premier League. Everton find themselves in the odd position that if they were to get something from the game, they would help out their near neighbours and rivals Liverpool in the title race.
Having won seven games on the bounce previously, Everton have now lost two out of their last three Premier League games but with their last home game of the season, they would like to finish on a high and maintain Goodison as one of the more difficult places to go this season. City have won three out of their last six Premier League games, with two draws in that run. They will want to make it three wins on the bounce to keep up their pursuit of the title.
On the injury front, Everton's list of absentees could be fairly lengthy but left-back Leighton Baines is expected to be fit for Saturday evening after taking a knock to his knee. Sylvain Distin was rated 50/50 earlier on in the week but is back in training as he has a similar injury to Phil Jagielka, who should be fit after a hamstring problem. Steven Pienaar is unlikely to make the weekend's game with a knee problem whilst Kevin Mirallas has been struggling with a groin injury. Arouna Kone, Darron Gibson, Bryan Oviedo are all sidelined with long-term injury problems whilst Lacina Traore still has a hamstring injury.
For the visitors, it has been said that David Silva could be risked for the weekend's trip to Merseyside after he suffered an ankle injury a couple of weeks ago in the win over West Brom, whilst Jesus Navas is struggling with a similar problem. Matija Nastasic is still sidelined with a knee problem.
Here are the top scorers from the two teams in the Premier League this season:
|Yaya Touré||Man City||MF||19||32||2,685|
|Sergio Agüero||Man City||FW||16||21||1,421|
|Edin Dzeko||Man City||FW||12||28||1,746|
Their average possession statistics:
And the amount of clean sheets they have kept this season:
5 players to watch
Romelu Lukaku - Lukaku gave City a few problems in the reverse fixture at the Etihad Stadium as his runs, pace and power gave their back line a lot to think about. The Belgian also got on the scoresheet that day, so if he is on song, he could be a major thorn in the side of City, and could put a late blow in their title challenge.
Yaya Toure - Toure returned from injury against Crystal Palace and demonstrated what a tremendous footballer he is. He set up one goal, and took his own brilliantly. He has scored 19 Premier League goals from midfield this season which is an astonishing record, and Everton will need to keep a close eye on the Ivory Coast international as he could easily punish them.
Phil Jagielka - Everton's captain has been sidelined for a good while with a hamstring problem, but after last week's defensive display against Southampton, they will be glad to have him back in the side against a City side that has scored 93 goals this season. The home side needs to remain as solid as possible if they are to get anything from this game.
Gael Clichy - Manuel Pellegrini sometimes rotates his left-backs, and since Kolarov got the nod at Crystal Palace last week, it wouldn't be surprising if Clichy starts this week. He will have a big job on his hands as Lukaku has been playing off the right recently, but also the threat of Everton right-back Seamus Coleman going forward.
Ross Barkley - With no Gareth Barry in the side, it will be interesting to see which midfield role Barkley will operate in. Will he operate a little deeper alongside James McCarthy, or will Roberto Martinez play him in more of a support role for Romelu Lukaku? Whatever the Everton boss decides, it could be a key factor when it comes to deciding the outcome of this game.
Earlier on in the season
Manchester City 3-1 Everton, October 2013
An entertaining match where Everton threatened to stun the hosts after Romelu Lukaku put the visitors ahead, after managing to get the better of Joleon Lescott. The Belgian was then allowed to finish when one-on-one with Joe Hart just after the 15 minute mark. Their lead barely lasted a minute as Alvaro Negredo levelled the scoring after latching onto a ball from Yaya Toure, who finished whilst Tim Howard managed to get part of his body to it. It looked as if it would be level going into half-time but a Sergio Aguero strike proved to be a sucker punch after David Silva's through ball allowed the Argentine to fire low past Howard. City got a third in the second half after a tangle between Seamus Coleman and Pablo Zabaleta gave Aguero the chance to score from the penalty spot. The Argentine hit the post and the ball rebounded into the net off Tim Howard's head which concluded the scoring.