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Saturday, May 28, 2022

Preview: Everton vs. Manchester City – prediction, team news, lineups

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Sports Mole previews Saturday’s Premier League clash between Everton and Manchester City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Premier League leaders Manchester City will be looking to return to winning ways when they face Frank Lampard‘s Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday evening.

The Toffees, meanwhile, are also hoping to bounce back with a victory and could move five points clear of the relegation zone if they were to cause an upset against the Citizens.

Match preview

© Reuters

After securing a comfortable 3-0 victory at home against Leeds United, recording 10 shots on target, Everton suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat away at Southampton last weekend, in a game which they failed to register a single shot on target.

Second-half strikes from Stuart Armstrong and Shane Long condemned the Toffees to their 13th league defeat of the season; 12 of those have come in their last 16 games in the division.

Frank Lampard – who made 38 appearances for Man City between 2014 and 2015 – has had a mixed start to life as Everton manager, winning both games at Goodison Park but losing both away matches, and following Burnley’s surprise win against Tottenham Hotspur in midweek, he now sees his team sitting just two points above the relegation zone.

Everton face an uphill task on Saturday against a Man City outfit who they have beaten only once in their last 17 Premier League meetings, including defeat in each of their last eight in succession; only against Portsmouth (13) between 1948 and 1956 and Manchester United (nine) between 1999 and 2004 have the Toffees lost more consecutive league games in their history.

With an FA Cup fifth-round tie against Boreham Wood and then four successive league fixtures against Spurs, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Newcastle United and Watford soon to come, Everton will need to find their form quickly if they are to resurrect what they can from a disappointing season, though success on Saturday is unlikely.

Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on February 9, 2022© Reuters

While Spurs supporters and football neutrals will have been enthralled by last weekend’s five-goal thriller at the Etihad Stadium, Man City fans were tearing their hair out after witnessing Harry Kane produce a magnificent performance against the team who were so desperate to sign him last summer.

A stoppage-time penalty kick converted by Riyad Mahrez appeared to have rescued a point for the Citizens, but Kane managed to head home a dramatic 95th-minute winner to secure all three points for the visitors and end City’s 15-game unbeaten league run.

Pep Guardiola has insisted all season that the title race is not over yet and now the battle for this year’s Premier League crown is the tightest it has been for months, with Liverpool now nipping at City heels in second place, sitting only three points behind the summit following their emphatic 6-0 win over Leeds in midweek.

Since suffering a heavy 4-0 loss in his first ever trip to Goodison Park, Guardiola has seen his City side win each of their last five away games against Everton in all competitions. The Citizens currently boast a 12-game unbeaten league run on the road, winning 10 times and drawing twice since their opening-day defeat at Spurs, and have only conceded eight goals during this period.

City will be confident of bouncing back with a victory on Saturday, as they aim to head into three successive fixtures in three different competitions – against Peterborough United (FA Cup), Manchester United (Premier League) and Sporting Lisbon (Champions League) – on a positive note.

Everton Premier League form:

Everton form (all competitions):

Manchester City Premier League form:

Manchester City form (all competitions):

Team News

Everton's Richarlison celebrates scoring their third goal on February 12, 2022© Reuters

Everton are sweating over the fitness of winger Demarai Gray, who is currently doubtful with a hip injury which he sustained against Newcastle earlier this month.

Lampard will, however, be without Yerry Mina (thigh), Ben Godfrey (hamstring), Abdoulaye Doucoure (groin), Fabian Delph (thigh) and Tom Davies (thigh) due to injury.

Despite failing to impress in front of goal last weekend, Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are set to retain their places in attack, while Anthony Gordon is expected to start on the left side of midfield, with either Andros Townsend, Alex Iwobi or Anwar El Ghazi to operate on the opposite flank.

January signing Dele Alli is yet to start for the Toffees and the 25-year-old may have to settle for a place on the substitutes’ bench again this weekend, with Donny van de Beek and Allan seemingly preferred in centre-midfield by Lampard at present.

As for Man City, Jack Grealish, Gabriel Jesus and Cole Palmer are all doubtful with injuries and will be assessed ahead of kickoff.

Guardiola is unlikely to make too many changes to his starting lineup; however, if Riyad Mahrez is recalled then Ilkay Gundogan could drop out, which would likely see Bernardo Silva move into the midfield three alongside Rodri and Kevin De Bruyne.

John Stones and Nathan Ake, who were both unused substitutes against Spurs, will be looking to force their way into the first XI, though Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte are the most likely duo to begin at centre-back with Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo to continue as the full-backs.

Everton possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Coleman, Holgate, Keane, Kenny; Townsend, Allan, Van de Beek, Gray; Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo; De Bruyne, Rodri, Bernardo; Mahrez, Foden, Sterling

We say: Everton 0-3 Manchester City

Everton failed to breach Southampton’s backline last weekend, so finding the net against the Premier League’s tightest defence could prove challenging on Saturday.

Even if the Toffees were to score, Man City are deadly at the other end, having scored at least twice in 17 of their 26 league games this term. A comfortable three points for Guardiola’s men could be on the cards at Goodison.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Away Win:data

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