Pep Guardiola will be looking to hand Carlo Ancelotti his first defeat as Everton boss when Manchester City host the Toffees on New Year’s Day.
The reigning Premier League champions bounced back from their 3-2 defeat to Wolves with a 2-0 win over Sheffield United on Sunday, but will now need to start building some momentum if they are to stand any chance of chasing down table-toppers Liverpool.
A win over Everton can reduce the gap to 11 points, with Liverpool playing the following day, but under Ancelotti that task is easier said than done these days.
The illustrious Italian comes to Merseyside with a glittering reputation and an impeccable CV, which has thus far yielded to two wins from two games, making this contest a tighter one than many would have billed just a few weeks prior.
Read on for Man City vs Everton preview, predictions, TV coverage information, team news and more.
When is Man City vs Everton and where can I watch live?
Competition: Premier League
Venue: Etihad Stadium
Date: Wednesday, 01 January 2020
Kick-off: 5:30 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): BT Sport 1
Last five meetings: Man City vs Everton
28 September 2019: Everton 1-3 Man City (Premier League)
06 February 2019: Everton 0-2 Man City (Premier League)
15 December 2018: Man City 3-1 Everton (Premier League)
31 March 2018: Everton 1-3 Man City (Premier League)
21 August 2017: Man City 1-1 Everton (Premier League)
Aggregate Score: Man City (WWWWD) 12-4 Everton (LLLLD)
Ones to watch
Man City: Kevin De Bruyne
Ancelotti will make Everton tough to break down, of that there will be no doubt, so Guardiola will of course turn to his chief creator to unlock doors and generate openings against the Toffees.
If anyone can break down a resilient and organised backline it is De Bruyne, who has taken his game to even greater heights this season.
Key stat: Kevin De Bruyne has created more chances than any player across Europe’s top five leagues this season (71).
Everton: Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Upon signing the dotted line for Everton, many would have predicted that Moise Kean may have been the man to step up his game under Ancelotti, and while that yet may prove the case, at the minute it is Calvert-Lewin making all the noise.
The Sheffield striker has bagged three goals in two games and will be looking to maintain his purple patch with Euro 2020 just around the corner.
Ancelotti’s faith in Calvert-Lewin has been backed in recent days by the Italian claiming he tried to sign the forward while in charge of Napoli.
“He was a player we followed as a young striker,” Ancelotti said.
“But there was no possibility [to buy him]. He excites me. There are a lot of people who have eyes on him.”
Key stat: Calvert-Lewin (8) has scored more Premier League goals than any other Everton player this season.
The good news for Guardiola is that Ederson will return to his squad having served out a one-game suspension after picking up a straight red card in the defeat to Wolves last week. Elsewhere David Silva could return after missing the last four games, while John Stones also has a chance of making the matchday squad.
Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane remain long-term absentees.
Predicted XI: Ederson; Walker, Fernandinho, Otamendi, Cancelo; Rodri, Bernardo Silva, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Sterling, Aguero.
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Morgan Schneiderlin has missed the previous four matches with a calf strain but should be fit enough to travel on Wednesday. However, this fixture has come too soon for Alex Iwobi, Jean-Philippe Gbamin and Andre Gomes, who all remain out indefinitely.
Predicted XI: Pickford; Sidibe, Keane, Holgate, Baines; Sigurdsson, Davies, Walcott, Richarlison; Kean, Calvert-Lewin.
Everton have made a positive start under Ancelotti but Guardiola will be desperate to make a perfect start to the New Year and keep their microscopic chances of catching up with Liverpool alive. With Ederson returning between the sticks and Sergio Aguero now back up and running, City should have enough in the locker to temporarily stunt Everton’s managerial bounce.
Scoreline prediction: Man City 2-0 Everton
Check out more of Squawka’s Premier League predictions here.