Football News

Everton v Man City predicted XIs: Team news as Lampard gives update on top-scorer Gray

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 13:39, 25 February 2022 | Updated: 23:20, 24 November 2022

Manchester City are looking for a return to successful ways in the Premier League at Goodison Park when they face Everton on Saturday evening (17:30 UK time).

Pep Guardiola’s defending champions suffered a 2-3 home loss to Tottenham last time out which presented Liverpool the chance to close the gap atop of the league to just three points which they successfully did. As for their hosts, the Toffees are in a relegation dogfight with Frank Lampard’s men sitting only two points above the current safety line.

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Everton team news vs Man City: 

  • Ins: Demarai Gray
  • Outs: Yerry Mina, Ben Godfrey, Fabian Delph and Tom Davies
  • Doubts: Abdoulaye Doucoure

Frank Lampard couldn’t have asked for a more challenging job following his Chelsea exit. The 43-year-old tactician is now tasked with maintaining Everton’s top-flight status with 15 matches remaining this season. This weekend sees him take charge of his fourth Premier League with those previous outings ending in one win and two defeats.

His first league game in charge saw Demarai Gray come off after 25 minutes with a hip problem. The would-be England international has been one of the few positives at Goodison Park this season. Gray, who turns 26 this summer, before sitting on the sidelines the Brummie had netted five goals across 20 matches — making him their current leading marksman — and it’s fair to say the Toffees have missed his dynamism.

But there was good news when Lampard gave an injury update ahead of this weekend’s clash. “Ben Godfrey won’t be back. He’s still a couple of weeks away. With Doucoure and Gray, they’re both training with us and in the squad. The issue for me is if they start. I’ll have to decide whether they’re ready to start. But it’s good to have them back,” he told reporters.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison are both expected to continue leading Everton’s forward line. This game will also mark Lampard’s fourth such head-to-head against Guardiola, in those previous outings the Englishman has gotten the better of City’s manager once, a 2-1 success in June 2020.

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Predicted Everton XI vs Man City:

  • Pickford; Coleman, Holgate, Keane, Kenny; Iwobi, Allan, Van de Beek, Gordon; Calvert-Lewin, Richarlsion. (4-4-2)

Man City team news vs Everton:

  • Ins: None
  • Outs: Jack Grealish and Cole Palmer
  • Doubts: Zack Steffen and Gabriel

It recently came to light that Manchester City has the second-smallest squad across Europe’s big five leagues over the past year. According to the CIES Football Observatory, only West Ham (27) have used fewer than Pep Guardiola, who in the past 365 days has utilised no fewer than 28 players. This desire to use a small squad shouldn’t come as a surprise. Guardiola’s biographer Marti Perarnau made that known in his book Pep Confidential.

“One of the common misconceptions about Pep’s time as Barça coach was that he planned to duplicate every position in his team, giving him two right-backs, two left-backs, two centre-forwards and so on,” he wrote. “In fact, he wants footballers who can play in at least two, if not three positions. He is looking for men with the talent and flexibility to play as central defenders, defensive midfielders or central midfielders.”

So far this season no fewer than 24 players have turned out for City in England’s top division with Bernardo Silva and Ederson leading the way on 25 appearances respectively. Not far behind is Raheem Sterling, who is the champions leading scorer on 10 goals, the England international previously shared the field with Everton boss Lampard who in the past has spoken of his maturation into becoming a world class talent.

“I don’t like to talk about other club’s players but Raheem Sterling is an incredible example of a player with great talent, whose work ethic added to that talent and improvement in a short period of time through absolute dedication, has seen him become a complete player, who we are all wowed by,” he said in 2019 while managing Chelsea.

Predicted Man City XI vs Everton:

  • Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Cancelo; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Mahrez, Foden, Silva. (4-3-3)