It's been a particularly bad week to be a City fan. A fluke loss at Villa compounded with annihilation at the hands of Bayern Munich was not something we'll want to remember. But it's okay, because now we get a visit from... Everton, our favorite bogey team. Everton are in great form this season and are the only remaining unbeaten team in the league, so this will be a difficult match. Luckily for us, Gareth Barry is ineligible per his loan agreement. It's the early game tomorrow morning (7:45 EST, NBC Sports Network) and unfortunately I can't watch, so I'll be counting on you all to fill me in via the game thread.
Anyhow, I spoke to Max from from Everton's SB Nation Blog 'Royal Blue Mersey' (I think they have made the most appearances in Q&A's on B&B over the years) for a closer look at our foes ahead of tomorrow's match. I also did a Q&A for them, which can be found here.
- B&B: Everton are off to a hot start and are the only remaining unbeaten team in the league. What are things that have been working so well so far?
RBM: In the first half against Newcastle we saw the benefit of all the good things that Roberto Martinez has brought to the club, the passing has been getting quicker and more incisive, we're more attacking, with pace and width, and we've got a properly creative player in Ross Barkley who can hurt teams in his advanced position. IN the first couple of games the passing was there but players were finding their way, it was all a bit too slow and ponderous.
- B&B: How have the new signings, both permanent and loan, been settling in?
RBM: Well the early signings, Kone, Alcaraz, Robles, and Deulofeu have hardly appeared, mainly due to injury for Kone and Alcaraz. Contrasting that though is the impact of our deadline day signings. Romelu Lukaku is getting all the headlines and with 3 in 2 may be the missing striker we've been searching for, but just as impressive has been Gareth Barry, who has been central to our play in the last three games. And I was impressed with James McCarthy on Monday night, he does the simple things extremely well and works hard for the team.
RBM: Under David Moyes we always had an issue against the teams with money, although we have a decent record against City and Tottenham. I think one of the things we're looking for from Martinez is some balls when playing as the underdog, too often we were set up to defend right from the kick off, as Moyes showed in the Manchester derby recently. I don't think that's in Roberto's make up, and the games will be a true barometer of how our season will go. Although we did OK against Chelsea...
- B&B: Form and injury situation at Everton currently? Will there be any changed in personnel for the match?
RBM: I don't expect any changes from the game on Monday. Pienaar may be fit but will likely only get onto the bench. Martinez has been very consistent with his first eleven so far.
- B&B: Finally, a prediction for the match? Where do you see the key battles being played out on the pitch?
RBM: I think it'll be a really good game, City will be keen to make up for the Bayern beating, and we'll be looking to stay unbeaten. Witha change of managers anything could happen but I expect goals. 2-2.
Many thanks to Max for his time!