Can the Toffees Halt Rampant City?

Last updated: March 17, 2021 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Saturday, 17:30
Venue: Goodison Park
Coverage: BT Sport 1
Home Form: WWWLL
Away Form: WWLWW
Last Meeting: Everton 1 – 3 Man City
Competition: FA Cup

Manchester City are still on course for the quadruple, while this competition is Everton’s only chance for silverware this season. Pep Guardiola has lost just once in the last twenty-three but will have to manage their host’s counterattack threat. This game has all the ingredients to be a classic FA Cup tie.

Everton has had a tough draw in the FA Cup and stands in the league leaders’ way in the FA Cup quarter-finals. The Toffees should be full of confidence, though, having already shaken off top-six opposition in the exciting nine-goal thriller against Tottenham that had to be settled in extra time by Bernard’s solo goal. The game was 4 – 4 when the whistle for regular time blew after both sides came from behind several times.

Carlo Ancelotti has shown experienced calmness even when skating on thin ice during rough patches throughout the season. The Italian has ambitions to win the FA Cup to end a twenty-five wait for the Merseyside club. Winning the cup brings European football with the holders qualifying directly to the Europa League’s group stage. It may not be the Champions League football that Ancelotti is keen to bring to Goodison Park, but it will be seen as progress. Of course, Ancelotti has experience of winning the FA Cup; his Chelsea team beat Portsmouth in the 2009-10 season, securing a domestic double.

Even though Goodison Park is one of the intimidating stadiums to visit in normal times, the lack of fans has seen their fortress lose its fear factor with seven of Everton’s ten defeats coming at home. They have recently found it tough against Manchester City, having lost the last six games and won just once in the last ten.

However, they will be motivated because City has been exposed recently, succumbing to a 2 – 0 defeat to Manchester United to end their impressive twenty-one winning streak. Everton plays most effectively, like United, on the counterattack. They have Richarlison, who had scored in four consecutive matches before the 2 – 0 defeat to Chelsea and was lively in the 2 – 1 defeat against Burnley. Dominic Calvert Lewin has scored more headed goals recently to add to his electrifying pace that could devastate the Man City defence. Dominic has two goals in the competition and, alongside Richarlison (three), can influence the hosts’ game on the counterattack. They are among the highest scorers, winning 2 – 1 against Rotherham in the Third-Round; they beat Sheffield Wednesday 3 – 0 in the fourth round and scored five goals against Spurs. A big concern is the number of injuries. Jordan Pickford is out injured, the Three Lions keeper will miss this crunch game along with England’s games against San Marino, Albania and Poland. He joins James Rodriguez, Fabian Delph, Jean-Philippe Gbamin and Abdoulaye Doucoure, who are all ruled out for this tie.

Man City are in a quest for a quadruple and will have to go through a determined Everton side that has already knocked out Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup. Pep Guardiola’s side are fourteen points clear at the top of the table, giving them the luxury of rotating players in the league and saving their best players for the knockout competitions.

One player who seems almost certain to feature in this rotation is Sergio Aguero. The fourth highest scorer in the league and City’s record goalscorer scored his first goal in 417 days in their 3 – 0 win against Fulham after being sidelined by injury since the start of the season. He will be hoping to renew his partnership with Gabriel Jesus, who has been involved in 95 goal involvement (73 goals, 22 assists) in his 114 starts and has managed eight goals and two assists in the last ten in all competitions.

In their last thirteen league games together, Jesus (9) and Aguero (15) have scored a combined twenty-four goals, winning eleven and drawing twice, and are yet to lose when the two feature together. The Citizens had won the last eight league games, scoring twenty-two goals and conceding just three, when the attacking duo started.

City was in action in mid-week; a 2-0 win at home against Borussia Monchengladbach completed a 4-0 aggregate win that saw them qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals for a fourth successive season. The game was pretty much wrapped up in the first fifteen minutes, Kevin de Bruyne scoring with a great shot after 12 minutes. Six minutes later, the tie was beyond all doubt, Ilkay Gundogan scoring after Phil Foden’s fine work.

The defence has been the biggest improvement in the Man City team this season. We’ve previously highlighted the importance of potential PFA player of the year Ruben Dias to the team. He played well in the 1-0 win against Arsenal, scored in the 2-1 win at West Ham and was one of the few City players to get any credit in the 2-0 loss to Manchester United. John Stones is another worth a mention; the 26-year-old has now scored four goals in the last ten league games, having managed one in 170 games previously.

On paper, this could be an easy tie for City, but Manchester United highlighted weaknesses in the City side in their 2 – 0 win. No doubt Ancelotti will be watching re-runs of that game and will hope to exploit their vulnerabilities. City could create history this season, and Pep will demand a win to keep their quadruple aspirations alive.

Team News

Everton has lost the last eight consecutive games against Man City, losing and drawing once in the last ten.

Calvert-Lewin, two goals, and Richarlison, three goals, can hurt the league leaders, especially with this competition their only chance of silverware.

Gabriel Jesus has scored eight goals in the last five games against Everton, opening the scoring in three of these games.

Man City have only lost once in the last twenty-three games and are favourites in all the four competitions they are challenging for.

Expected Line-Ups:

Everton (4-3-1-2): Virginia, Holgate, Mina, Keane, Digne, Allan, Davies, Sigurdsson, Gomes, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Subs: Lossi, Delph, Iwobi, Bernard, Gordon, Broadhead, King, Coleman, Nkoukou, Tyer
Injured: Gbamin, Delph, Doucoure, Pickford, Rodriguez
Not available:
Man City (3-2-3-2): Ederson, Walker, Stones, Dias, Laporte, Mendy, Rodri, Gundogan, Sterling, Gabriel.J, Aguero
Subs: Steffen, Zinchenko, B. Silva, Foden, Garcia, Barnaba, Mahrez, Fernandinho, De Bruyne, Cancelo, Ake
Not available:

So Far This Season

. . .
Everton This Season Man City This Season
7th League Position 1st
14 (9) Wins (away) 22 (10)
5 – 2 v West Brom Biggest Win 5 – 0 v Burnley
4 (2) Draws (away) 5 (3)
1 – 3 v Man United Biggest Defeat 2 – 5 v Leicester City
Calvert-Lewin (14) Top Goal Scorer Gundogan (12)
Y46, R2 Discipline Y30, R0
5 Failures to Score 2
25% Clean Sheets 17%
54% Both Teams to Score Games 40%
46% Over 2.5 Goals 43%
54% Under 2.5 Goals 57%
  • Everton has won just once and drawn once in the last two games, losing the other eight.
  • Gabriel Jesus has scored eight in the last five, with his partnership with Sergio Aguero are unbeaten in the last thirteen games they started together.
  • Man City have UEFA Champions League football giving their host more days’ rest, but Pep’s side has enough depth to counter this.
  • Dominic Calvert-Lewin (21) and Richarlison (12) have the counterattacking pace to devastate the solid Man City defence and could cause problems against the league leaders.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
17/02/2021 EPL Everton 1 – 3 Man City Foden 32’
01/01/2020 EPL Man City 2 – 1 Everton Jesus 51’
28/09/2019 EPL Everton 1 – 3 Man City Jesus 24’
06/02/2019 EPL Everton 0 – 2 Man City Laporte 45’
15/12/2018 EPL Man City 3 – 1 Everton Jesus 22’

Conclusion & Betting Tips

Everton will approach this game as if it’s the final itself and will need to play out of their skins to get anything against City. Their current form is patchy, a winning streak of three games ended by two defeats in a row. The ace in the sleeve for Everton is Carlo Ancelotti, who has already won this trophy alongside his three Champions League trophies. Everton will need every ounce of his experience to get through to the semi-finals.

At the end of the season, Manchester City may well send their neighbours United a thank-you card. Losing 2-0 at home to United would have been painful but will ultimately be little more than an annoyance when City finally lift the Premier League trophy. That result against their rivals has focused City; they have won the three games since that defeat by an aggregate score of 10:2 and barely went out of second gear in those games.

We love upsets and would like to see one here, but it doesn’t look very likely. While Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin will undoubtedly be a threat, the loss of James Rodriguez, rather than that of Jordan Pickford, will hurt Everton’s chances. Manchester City is one of only two teams with no injury worries. We fancy a 1:3 City win, a repeat of the league clash in February, available @ 10/1 with bet365. If he starts, Aguero any time scorer @ 5/6 is a good side bet; and Jesus to score the first goal @ 4/1 is also worth considering.