The Champions, Manchester City will be looking to bounce back from the defeat to Spurs as they face Everton at Goodison Park. Meanwhile, Frank Lampard’s side will be hoping to get a result and steer clear of the relegation zone.
Tottenham Hotspur stunned Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium as Harry Kane scored the winner in stoppage time. They struggled defensively throughout the game, and Pep Guardiola will expect his defence to improve. Liverpool are just three points behind City, and the Spanish manager knows the title race is far from over.
Everton have started strongly at home under new management, but their away form is a matter of concern. They have lost both their games on the travel under Frank Lampard, and following Burnley’s win against Spurs, the Toffees are just two points above the drop zone.
Manchester City have won five on a bounce at Goodison Park, following their 4-0 defeat at the start of 2017. The odds are stacked against Everton on Saturday, but they will believe their team can nick one over the line against Manchester City.
WHEN AND WHERE?
Date: 26th February 2022.
Time: 5:30 PM BST.
Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool.
Referee: Paul Tierney.
Assistants: Lee Betts, Stuart Burt.
Fourth Official: Martin Atkinson.
VAR: Chris Kavanagh.
Assistant VAR: Gary Beswick.
Frank Lampard will be short of options on Saturday. Yerry Mina, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Tom Davies, Fabian Delph all are out. Ben Godfrey is also sidelined due to a hamstring injury he suffered against Brentford in the FA Cup tie.
Demarai Gray who has been Everton’s talisman this season is doubtful because of a hip injury he sustained against Newcastle United. Donny Van De Beek and Allan are set to get the nod ahead of Dele Alli who is yet to start a game in an Everton shirt.
Meanwhile, Manchester City almost have a clean medical bill with Gabriel Jesus and Jack Grealish both returning to training. Cole Palmer is still out with an injury.
After a poor defensive display against Spurs, Pep Guardiola might look to shuffle his defence with John Stones and Nathan Ake who were both unused substitutes on Saturday. Bernardo Silva who played as a false 9 could be back in midfield, and Riyad Mahrez is set to get the nod after his stoppage-time penalty last week.
Everton stumbled upon against the Saints as they did not have a shot on target throughout the game. Frank Lampard will be hoping his side can show some grit and effort against the League leaders.
Frank Lampard started his Everton stint with a 3-4-3 formation but switched to a back 4 against Southampton. They had an xG (expected goal) of 0.30 compared to the Saints’ 2.56. However, there are positive signs for the Toffees as they have won their last two home games comfortably. They dominated Leeds and Brentford with Goodison Park behind them. Manchester City though are a different challenge and Lampard will hope his team can deliver.
Pep Guardiola’s men won 14 out of their last 15 Premier League games before the defeat against Spurs. Manchester City will look for a statement win on Saturday. Against Spurs, Bernardo Silva started as a false 9 and that resulted in Spurs bypassing City’s press with ease. Their defence was all over the place as Harry Kane ran riot. However, City have shown in the past time and time again that they bounce back from a defeat quickly.
With Demarai Gray doubtful for Saturday’s game, Richarlison will look to step up. Harry Kane showed the world how it is done against the leaders, and the Brazilian will look to emulate the same.
Since his return from injury, he has scored twice and assisted once in 6 games. The 4-4-2 also suits the Everton forward, and with Calvert Lewin returning, they will look to bully the centre-halves. Everton could play long and bring Richalison into play. He will try and run in behind the defence, and cause trouble for City’s defence with his pace.
The Algerian winger is in red hot form and will look to help Manchester City return to winning ways. In his last 9 starts, he has scored 8 and assisted 4. Many were surprised as he dropped to the bench against Tottenham Hotspur. He showed his value when he calmly slotted a high-pressure penalty in stoppage time.
Riyad Mahrez also loves to score in Goodison Park. He scored the winner in the 2019/20 season and curled one into the back of the net last season. In his last 5 appearances against the blue half of Merseyside, he has 2 goals and 2 assists. The Everton defence will vary of his threat and will hope they can close down the space when the tricky winger has the ball.
EVERTON (Formation: 4-4-2): Pickford; Coleman, Holgate, Keane, Kenny; Townsend, Allan, Van de Beek, Gordon; Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin.
MANCHESTER CITY (Formation: 4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Cancelo; Rodri, Bernardo Silva, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Foden, Grealish.