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United Host the Hammers for an Old Trafford Season Opener

Last updated: August 18, 2017 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Monday, 21:00 pm
Venue: Etihad Stadium
Coverage: Sky Sports
Home Team Form: WWWWWW
Away Team Form: DWWDW
Last Meeting: Everton 4 – 0 Man City
Competition: Premier League

The so-called Golden Age of Pep Guardiola is yet to materialise for Manchester City. Finishing third behind Tottenham and Chelsea last season, and failing to win any silverware at all, Pep will have to work hard to re-energise his team in order to truly challenge for the title. But this season’s Premier League promises to be tougher than ever; facing both a resurgent Manchester United, a resilient Tottenham, and a Chelsea side keen to hold onto their trophy, City need a new framework within which to consistency grind out good results.

Thankfully for them, there is no law against copying in football. And Man City are the best at seeing what other teams do well and making it work for themselves. Their recent use of the 3-4-1-2 formation saw them successfully beat off a stubborn Brighton side, and we suspect Pep will use this more in the future, especially as new and pacey wingbacks such as Mendy and Walker have joined the squad. At their best Man City can play powerful and dominant football; characterised by Silva’s excellent playmaking, de Bruyne’s mazy runs and Agüero’s lethal finishing. Incorporating versatile wingbacks into that approach should give them the dynamism they need to overcome most oppositions. Their only problem; its been done before!

The Chelsea juggernaut of last season is now running out of steam. With tactful man-marking and high pressing, teams find that they can poke holes in this hitherto impenetrable formation. Everton, who employed the exact same formation last weekend, can match City’s pace on the wings thanks to the likes of Leighton Baines and Calvert-Lewin. If they manage to stifle the midfield, battle for the ball, and even keep some strong possession, then a breakaway Rooney goal isn’t an impossibility here.

Everton’s real problem is their injury list, currently the second worst in the league (after Watford). Without McCarthy, Barkley or Coleman to give them the opportunity to create something magical, their chances of really pushing the game to City remains minimal. Yet, if their surprise 4-0 thrashing of the Citizens last season shows anything, its that Everton can score a lot of goals when they need to. It just looks like this time, with the likes of both Agüero and Jesus on the prowl, City won’t have too much trouble winning this game.

City to win by 2 goals or more.


Team News

New signing Benjamin Mendy was seen training with the City lads a few days ago. He should be fit in time for this game!

Gareth Barry has sadly left the Everton team. But he’s thankful for the time he’s had, telling evertonfc.com: “I’ve had four great years at Everton. The fans have been brilliant with me from the day I signed until the day I left. I’m proud that the Club will always be a big part of my career.”

Ronald Koeman is still looking for new signings in the Premier League to make Everton a formidable striking force. As he says: “we still need another one to play the no.9”.

Manchester City are currently in talks with Real Oveido in a deal to sign Ghanian Winger Yaw Yaboah on loan for the season.


Expected Line-Ups:

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Man City (3-4-1-2): Ederson; Kompany, Stones, Otamendi; Mendy, Walker, De Bruyne, Silva; Danilo; Jesus, Agüero
Subs: Bravo, Sterling, Mangala, Sané, B Silva, Touré, Foden
Injured: Nasri, Gundogan
Doubtful:
Not available:
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Everton (3-4-2-1): Pickford; Keane, Williams, Jagielka; Calvert-Lewin, Schneiderlin, Gueye, Baines; Sigurdsson, Rooney; Sandro
Subs: Stekelenburg, Martina, Kenny, Lennon, Besic, Rodriguez, Niasse
Injured: Barkley, McCarthy, Mori, Coleman, Bolasie
Doubtful:
Not available:

So Far This Season

. . .
Manchester City This Season Everton This Season
3rd League Position 7th
1 (0) Wins (away) 1 (0)
2-0 vs. Brighton & Hove Biggest Win 1-0 vs. Stoke
0 (0) Draws (away) 0 (0)
Biggest Defeat
Top Goal Scorer
Y2, R0 Discipline Y1, R0
0 Failures to Score 0
1 Clean Sheets 1
0 Both Teams to Score Games 0
0 Over 2.5 Goals 0
1 Under 2.5 Goals 1
  • City got off to a strong start last week with a solid win against newly promoted Brighton & Hove in what could have been a potential banana skin. The visitors broke the deadlock in the 70th minute and finished well with two late goals.
  • The trick to a successful season is in turning your home stadium into a fortress. Man City will want to improve on last season’s dreadful home form by making sure they don’t slip up here.
  • Bobby Madley will be refereeing this match. He previously gave City penalties in his last two games with the club.
  • Alongside Wayne Rooney is Glyfi Sigurdsson, who should start this match. A free-kick specialist, he could give City something to be scared about!

Head to Head

Last Five Competitive Meetings Between The Sides
Date Game Result Round First Goal-scorer
15/01/2017 Everton 4 – 0 Man City Premier League Lukaku 34′
15/10/2016 Man City 1 – 1 Eveton Premier League Lukaku 64′
27/01/2016 Man City 3 – 1 Everton League Cup Barkley 18′
13/01/2016 Man City 0 – 0 Everton Premier League
06/01/2016 Everton 2 – 1 Man City League Cup Mori 45′

Conclusion & Betting Tips

Man City are the massive favourites here, perhaps unfairly so, at tiny odds of 1/3, courtesy of William Hill. Everton on the other hand have quite outsized odds of 8/1, making this quite a tasty proposition for punters wanting to bet against the tide. I would recommend still to put your money on City, but try and do it in combination with something else, otherwise the return just isn’t worth it. Very good bets that I would recommend are: City to win and Agüero to score at 11/10; City to win and four or more goals at 9/5; Man City to win 2-0 at 6/1 and simply Wayne Rooney to score anytime and City to win at very reasonable odds of 11/2. Just because Wayne isn’t a Man United player anymore, doesn’t mean he doesn’t know how to score against City! All in all, some clever combination of “City to win and…” bet could get you racking in some serious money.

Happy punting!