Preview: Everton v Manchester City

Roberto Mancini heads to Goodison looking for his first points against David Moyes’ side. That fact alone is sufficient reason for City not to take game lightly.

Everton have been particularly up for games against us ever since Mark Hughes satisfied his obsession with Joleon Lescott. Tomorrow is unlikely to be any different with Lescott set to make his first appearance against the Toffees since joining City.

The team is highly unlikely to see any changes from that which has won the previous three matches. On the bench the only possible change is the welcome return of Micah Richards.

Three consecutive victories ought to give the players confidence, however nothing should be taken for granted against an Everton side in decent form. City will need to play better than they did against West Ham and Blackburn.

With City rumoured to be interested in Leighton Baines, it will be interesting to see how he performs against Adam Johnson. Baines is one of Everton’s best attacking outlets and Johnson will likewise have to keep a close eye on the full-back.

Mancini’s professional pride surely dictates that he won’t want to lose a fourth consecutive game to David Moyes. Hopefully he will have the team set up accordingly.

Finding a way to break down the Everton defence has consistently evaded Mancini, and scoring the opening goal will again be crucial. Balotelli has yet to score or entirely convince in the three game winning run.

Going up against Everton’s organisation and ruggedness will be a big test for the 20-year-old, and he’ll need plenty of suport from Silva and Yaya. A better end product from Adam Johnson would be helpful too.

At the back, keeping a closer eye on Tim Cahill than we have done in the past will be hugely important. The midfield is always a battle against Everton and our passing game will need to be on song if we’re to dominate.

With Spurs at home to Blackpool, a victory may well be required to maintain our cushion in the quest for fourth place. If this is achieved then City will be able to secure Champions League football with a draw against the Londoners on Tuesday – a huge incentive for the team.

Blue Days line-up (4-2-3-1):
Zabaleta – Kompany – Lescott – Kolarov
de Jong – Barry
A Johnson – Y Toure – Silva

Prediction: 2-0 to City.

Verdict: Manchester City 2 West Ham United 1
Player ratings: Everton v Manchester City

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