Preview: Man City v Everton

Michael Regan

Saturday's match against Everton should prove to be an exciting one. Everton come into the game having been skunked by Wigan in the FA Cup Quarter Final 3-0. Seriously, Everton? 3-0 to Wigan? Only thing worse than that would be to lose 3-1 to Southampton with the title in the balance. Oh wait. Ouch. I'm going to go cry in the shower a little more.

Ok I'm back. So we've got two more matches until we play the Red scum. At this point, I would consider trading tips of fingers for another 6-1 win (or any kind of win) at Old Trafford. We're going to have to continue the momentum from the last match over the next few if we want any chance of making United get nervy like last season.

The dream would be to damage their psyche so severely that all of their "hardcore" fans end up with PTSD. I want their waking moments to be filled with the fear that they will choke away the title the same way they did last season. Just imagine an internet filled with Red Devil fans that have ED from the emotional pain they've suffered.

So back to the match against Everton. We are going to be without our captain Vinny again. We'll also be another week without Sergio Aguero. Apparently both of them will be back in time for the match (but we've been hearing that for a while). Hopefully they'll both be back after the international break.

I would expect our back four to be Pablo Zabaleta, Kolo Toure, Nasty, and Clichy. However, it wouldn't surprise me to see Joleon Lescott get a chance against his former team (wouldn't be the worst thing, since Everton isn't fast up front, but rather tall, with lots of crosses into the box). In addition, it wouldn't be shocking to see Kolarov get a look in, considering how well he played last game. He could come on to change the formation to a 3-5-2.

Up front, I think we'll see Edin Dzeko and Carlos Tevez. This could be the kind of game that Dzeko stars in. Everton aren't super speedy, and so they'll leave lots of space available to counter-attack in. Marouane Fellaini, skilled as he is, doesn't always track back and commit to playing defense, so I can see us getting some great chances on the break.

The midfield will probably be Silva on the left, Yaya Toure and Javi Garcia in the middle, and Milner on the right. Samir Nasri got a chance to start in the match v Barnsley, and was just kind of average. It was the kind of game that he could have dominated in, but he just looked bleh. I think he's done at City, and will only get into games when someone gets hurt or tired.

Everton Strengths - Leighton Baines, Steven Pienaar, and Marouane Fellaini. Baines is quickly becoming the top left back in the Premier League, a serious threat on set pieces, and a great crosser into the box. Pienaar has the ability to hit diagonal passes to Jelavic and Fellaini. Fellani used to be the key guy on the team, but has had a rough go of it lately. It looks like he just isn't interested in fighting for Europa League spots this time around. Everyone expects him to go in the summer. Only question is, will he boost his stock over the last quarter of the season.

Everton Weaknesses - Pretty much everything else. Tim Howard is out, the center backs are a mess (Tevez and Dzeko should go crazy on them), Jelavic looks lost over half of the time, and the team looks exhausted.

I don't think that this match will be an easy one, but there are some serious weaknesses in the Everton team, and I think that Bobby will get the team ready to exploit them.

What do you think? What will the keys be for City? Should Nasri get another start, or would it be better to unleash James Milner upon an unsuspecting Everton? Nasty or Lescott?

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