Manchester City v Everton 
Monday, 20:00
Live on Sky Sports Main Event

Guardiola gearing up for title assault with heavy recruitment

A summer of heavy spending made City the Premier League favourites before a ball was kicked and they duly commenced the new season with a win on the opening day.

While the three points were secured away to Brighton, it is debatable whether a 2-0 defeat of the Premier League newcomers is a par score or not. City boast incredible attacking riches so goals were expected in that game yet it took the first 70 of the match to make a breakthrough, although Gabriel Jesus had a first half effort disallowed.

The recruitment may not be over at City. Pep Guardiola sought to strengthen the backline this week with an £18m bid for Northern Ireland central defender Jonny Evans that was rejected by West Brom, so it'll likely be John Stones, Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi in a back three flanked by wing backs Kyle Walker and Danilo. Elsewhere Guardiola has a near fully fit squad to choose from with Benjamin Mendy the only doubt among the potential starters. Ilkay Gündogan is nearing his return from long-term injury.

Koeman has Toffees ticking

These are exciting times on the blue half of Merseyside. There was plenty of money in the coffers thanks to the February 2016 sale of the club to billionaire Farhad Moshiri, but the sale of Romelu Lukaku brought in further supplies and the cash has been well and truly splashed this summer. Gylfi Sigurdsson, purchased for £50m from Swansea, was the latest to join the ranks signing up alongside fellow summer arrivals Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Wayne Rooney, Sandro Ramirez, Davy Klasssen, Henry Onyekuru and Cuco Martina at Goodison Park.

Like Guardiola, manager Ronald Koeman is in his second season at Everton and has got the club off to another fast start - four games have been played across Premier and Europa Leagues and all four have been won without a goal conceded. Those extra games of competitive football may give Everton an advantage in these early weeks although the fixtures are piling up - Monday's night is the first of three games next week.

Long-term injuries have robbed Koeman of classy duo Seamus Coleamn and Yannick Bolasie, while Sandro is the only doubt of last week's starting XI.

City short odds-on for second win on the spin

City are, of course, strong fancied to win this match and they are clear favourites but should they go off as short as 1.31?

For all the class City possess, there are certainly reasons for optimism for punters keen to oppose the home side. As well as those two draws in Manchester, Everton destroyed Guardiola's men 4-0 in the away fixture.

And City were not infallible at home last season, failing to take maximum points from eight of their 19 Premier League fixtures (seven draws, one defeat).

Recent history suggests the points will be shared - this fixture has finished in a stalemate the last two times it's been played in Manchester and the draw can be backed at 6.00.

Long odds backers will see all sorts of value in Koeman's men, who can be backed at a massive 13.00 to win their fifth game on the trot.

While Everton will surely respect City, they won't fear the test awaiting them on Monday night.

Goals expected but where is the value in the markets?

City are dripping with attacking talent and Everton aren't exactly powder-puff themselves, but these are two of the better Premier League defences - both kept clean sheets last weekend - and, although I think Overs is the rightful favourite, it must be considered a short price at 1.64. Mendy is the only doubt across either back line so both units should be at full strength.

Like last week we might see City frustrated by the opposition only to come good after the break, and that makes 'Second Half' a tempting wager in the half with most goals market, though I'd aim to get a bet matched around 2.20 rather than the 1.98 currently available on the Betfair Exchange. In a similar vein but a much bigger price, a halftime draw and fulltime City win can be backed at 4.70 and this looks a decent game to play in the market.

Recommended Bets
Back Draw/City HT/FT @ 4.70

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