Everton v Manchester City: Leaders will be too strong for Toffees

Man City - Pep Guardiola
Man City could move 10 points clear with a win

Man City could move 10 points clear at the top of the table by taking the points against Everton at Goodison Park on Wednesday and Mark O'Haire has found a way to back them at odds-against...

"Excluding cup competitions, the Citizens have conceded a paltry three goals in 15 recent fixtures – almost 23 hours of football"

Everton v Manchester City
Wednesday February 17, 20:15
Sky Sports

Everton flop at home to Fulham

Everton were brought back down to earth following Wednesday's exciting extra-time FA Cup win over Tottenham with a shock loss at home to relegation-haunted Fulham on Sunday evening. The Toffees were poor all evening at Goodison Park, registering just two shots on-target, and missed the chance to go level on points with fourth-placed Liverpool.

Head coach Carlo Ancelotti felt the exertions of the midweek cup tie played its part in the defeat as a pair of second-half goals from Josh Maja condemned the Blues to a fifth league defeat at home this season. Everton were flat from the outset with the Italian suggesting fatigue meant the Merseysiders struggled to deal with Fulham's intense pressing system.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin - who missed the Fulham reverse - is expected to be back in the Everton squad for Wednesday, while Jordan Pickford and Allan are also targeting the midweek match for a return. Meanwhile, Michael Keane and Yerry Mina should also be restored to the starting XI but James Rodriguez is now considered doubtful.

City easily overcome Spurs

Manchester City extended their record-breaking winning run to 16 games across all competitions and moved seven points clear at the top of the Premier League as they easily defeated Tottenham 3-0 at Etihad Stadium on Saturday. Ilkay Gundogan scored twice after Rodri had put City ahead from the penalty spot midway through the opening period.

Raheem Sterling might have had another late on as the Citizens strengthened their grip at the summit.

Since losing to Spurs in the reverse fixture back in November, City have taken 41 points from a possible 45 to take a decisive advantage in the title race.

And Pep Guardiola's group always appeared in complete control of their latest league contest.

Worryingly, Gundogan limped off with a groin problem late on and will be assessed ahead of Wednesday. Elsewhere, Ruben Dias was on the bench after a recent illness, along with Sergio Aguero as he recovers from COVID, with the former expected to return to the starting XI here. Kevin De Bruyne, Nathan Ake and Fernandinho are sidelined.

Citizens understandably red-hot favourites

Manchester City have won each of their last five Premier League meetings with Everton, including the most recent three Goodison Park contests between the two teams. Indeed, the Toffees have traditionally found the Citizens a tough nut to crack and have posted a solitary success against City in 14 league encounters dating back to 2013 (W1-D4-L9).

Everton 9.4017/2 have struggled for consistency since their superb start to the season, posting W7-D4-L7 in 18 league fixtures following October's international break. The Toffees have been particularly erratic at their traditional fortress Goodison Park, managing just two triumphs in their last nine here (W2-D2-L5), scoring just seven goals in the process.

Manchester City 1.402/5 have churned out 11 successive Premier League victories and have been toppled only once since September in league football (W15-D5-L1). Excluding cup competitions, the Citizens have conceded a paltry three goals in 15 recent fixtures - almost 23 hours of football - in a series of staggeringly dominant displays from the table-toppers.

City can seal low-scoring success

Everton are expected to set-up in a contain and counter system in midweek but with only four clean sheets to the Toffees' name this term, it's difficult to see Carlo Ancelotti's team being capable of producing the resolute performance required to keep Man City in-check.

However, the hosts have regularly kept the overall goals tally relatively low since moving towards a pragmatic approach in late Autumn. Just four of Everton's past 13 outings have featured Over 2.5 Goals 1.654/6 with a curious contest at Old Trafford the only occasion in that sample when four or more goals were scored in the Blues' recent encounters.

Man City have the potential firepower to hurt opponents, although the Citizens' strong defensive record ensures a high-scoring showdown appears unlikely. With that in mind, I'm happy to take the odds-against 2.07 offering on Manchester City to win and Under 3.5 Goals via the Sportsbook's Same Game Multi.

Mark's 2020/21 Profit/Loss

Staked: 98.00 pts
Returned: 104.60 pts
P/L: +6.60pts

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