Manchester City v Everton Saturday December 15, 12:30 Live on Sky Sports Premier League
Manchester City bounce back against the Hoffe
Leroy Sane scored twice as Manchester City sealed top spot in their Champions League group on Wednesday night with a 2-1 win over Hoffenheim. Pep Guardiola's group created most of the several clear-cut chances in an entertaining encounter, but only came to life after falling behind early on.
Gabriel Jesus and Nicolas Otamendi hit the post with headers, while John Stones and Phil Foden saw efforts well saved as the Citizens threatened to rack up victory by a more comfortable margin. The hosts fired in 22 shots and generated 4.01 Expected Goals as they bounced back from their Chelsea defeat in style.
Guardiola's much-changed midweek team had an average age of just 24 years and 95 days with the City boss fielding a three-man defence. The home side will hope to have Sergio Aguero available, although Stones is now a major doubt, whilst Kevin De Bruyne, Fernandinho, David Silva, Benjamin Mendy and Danilo are absent.
Everton fail to ignite
Lucas Digne's injury-time free-kick earned Everton a point at home to Watford on Monday night, although Marco Silva's men were lacklustre despite making the perfect start through Richarlison. The Toffees failed to build on their advantage and were second-best thereafter, deservedly falling behind in the second-half.
Everton were flat throughout, their display summed up when Gylfi Sigurdsson's tame penalty was saved. Having won plaudits for the manner of their approach and performance in their Merseyside derby defeat, the Blues have since delivered two poor showings at Goodison Park with Silva admitting his side "lost focus".
Silva named the same side that lost to Liverpool on Monday night as Michael Keane, Bernard and Theo Walcott returned in place of Kurt Zouma, Ademola Lookman and Cenk Tosun. The Portuguese head coach may look to amend his system and XI ahead of Saturday's trip to the defending champions.
City expected to hose up
Last weekend's loss at Chelsea was only Manchester City's third in 54 Premier League fixtures since the start of last season, with the Citizens sealing top honours in 45 (83%) of those fixtures. At the Etihad, City have returned W24-D2-L1 in that sample, winning by two goals or more on 20 (74%) occasions.
Guardiola's charges are chalked up as 1.23 to succeed on Saturday. Head-to-head fans will be intrigued to learn that the hosts have only triumphed in two of their past seven encounters (W2-D3-L2) with Everton, recording a solitary shutout. Indeed, each of the last three contests at The Etihad ended all-square.
The draw is backable at [7.80] and may appeal considering City's injury concerns. However, the Citizens haven't lost a Premier League game against a non-Big Six opponent since their January clash with the Toffees in 2017, pocketing W44-D7-L0 in the following 51 fixtures.
Everton15.00 will fancy their chances of an upset. However, the Toffees have consistently toiled when travelling to the Premier League's elite and it's difficult not to envisage a repeat. The guests have W1-D10-L23 on their past 34 trips to Big Six sides since 2013/14 with their sole success arriving against a David Moyes led Manchester United in December 2013.
Goals anticipated at The Etihad
Man City have won their last nine Premier League home games by an aggregate 33-6. The Citizens have scored at least three goals in 19 of their past 27 (70%) league outings at The Etihad; unsurprisingly, Over 2.5 Goals banked in 23 (85%) of those matches with Over 3.5 Goals landing on 17 (63%) occasions.
All seven of Everton's road trips this term have arrived against top-half opposition and the Blues have delivered Over 2.5 Goals in four fixtures, whilst two have concluded with four goals. Over 3.5 Goals can be supported at [1.89).
Same Game Multi
If we assume Manchester City will win in a match featuring three or more goals, we can head to Betfair Sportsbook's Same Game Multimarket for a little extra value. Tick off a home victory, Over 2.5 Goals and add in Raheem Sterling to score for an appealing [2.77] play.
Since the start of last season, Sterling has been directly involved in 26 goals in 21 Premier League home games, notching 17 strikes. The England international generates 0.39 Expected Goals per-game, firing in 2.32 shots per-90 minutes with 41% finding the target.
Mark O’Haire says: Back Manchester City to win, Over 2.5 Goals and Raheem Sterling to score @ [2.77] (Same Game Multi)