Premier League match time dawns at the City of Manchester Stadium as Manchester City get set to host Everton in match week 18, on December 20, 2010.
Man City look likely to make a serious title bid in a season that has witnessed the defending champions relying on ageing injury-prone stars, given their young bench of relatively inexperienced players. Manchester United have not been at their fluent best while not having lost any game. Arsenal have been a study in contrasts – a brilliant attack combined with a ramshackle defence.
In comparison with the above teams, Manchester City have been balanced, with no perceivable weakness in attack, defence or midfield control. The worst that can be said about Mancini’s squad is that they have been relying on Tevez to score their goals, and in the Argentine’s absence have not been the same. The forward line has also had a problem with finishing.
But Tevez’s fitness has held up and there’s no reason why it should not continue to do so, as the season wears. There’s no lack of talent in the City squad, which has more marquee names than any other side, this season, with upwards of 100 million pounds spent on summer signings. And with every game, the players are combining better and better.
Everton, one of the oldest clubs, were expected to do better than they have this season. They began badly losing three and drawing two of their first five games. The Toffees then resurrected their campaign with three wins and two draws in their next five. Then they went back to their earlier form, in a remarkable see-sawing display.
A strange thing about David Moyes’s squad has been their penchant for performing well against the more fancied teams. While losing to teams such as Blackburn, Newcastle and Aston Villa, the Toffees have drawn their games against Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham, while winning against Liverpool.
Head to head, in the last 10 league games between the sides, Everton have established a 6-3 lead over City. Their last game in March 2010 ended 2-0 in Toffees’ favour. Incidentally, three of the games won by Everton were hosted by City.
Mancini’s squad have won 4 of their 8 games hosted this season, while drawing 3 and losing just the solitary match. While Everton have won just a single game on the road, this season, they have lost just 2, drawing 5.
On current form, Everton will find it hard to stop Man City from banking full points. That said, Everton have done well against the stronger teams, this season. And that should ensure an intriguing contest.
Man City had the following players in their starting eleven against Bolton: Hart, Zabaleta, Toure, Kompany, Kolarov, Y Toure, De Jong, Barry, Silva, Tevez and Balotelli.
Everton’s first eleven against Chelsea comprised of the following players: Howard, Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Coleman, Fellaini, Rodwell, Pienaar, Cahill and Saha.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.