Man City host Everton on Saturday just 67 hours after the away fixture at WIgan. Tired legs may be a factor and I would expect to see a little rotation take place for the Everton game. Think of Kolarov's and Nasri's, Tevez and Dzeko. The upcoming fixture will be quite the test for Man City, for Everton are a good side, strong, obdurate and organised, the Toffee's are out-shooting most opposition in the Premier League so far, but they will face a wholly different test at The Etihad. This is Man City's fortress; unbeaten this year, unbowed last year, an away draw would be an incredible result, an away loss is what is more likely to happen, but why?
Man City's Home Form In 2012/13
Man City 3-2 Southampton
Man City 3-1 QPR
Man City 1-1 Arsenal
Man City 1-0 Swansea
Man City 2-1 Spurs
Man City 5-0 Aston Villa
Note that Man City have dispatched the poorer quality of opposition with varying degrees of ease and against the better quality of opposition, Arsenal and Spurs, have drawn one game and only won the second due to Dzeko's heroics. I think we can class Everton in the Arsenal, Spurs group. A tough game.
League home average is 50.83%. Man City are riding well above that and are trending upwards as the games go by. Man City's home number, whilst less than their own away number, is good for 3rd in the Premier League behind only Man United and Arsenal.
+9.71 shots per game is an outstanding number, the league's best, in fact. Only Everton and Arsenal boast fewer shots conceded in terms of home form.
Shots On Target
So, Man City are +29 at home this season, or +4.14 shots on target per game, the league's best number. The widening gap between for and against is to be expected.
It took many a game for Man City to approach a normal pdo level, the league average being 102.42. Man City are now above and beyond the league average due to the destruction of Aston Villa in their previous home game. Will Man City's number regress? Maybe, it may regress to ward their own mean, but not necessarily towards the league mean. A number any higher than 115 and I would be worried.
It's nice to see Man City's home save% return to what it was expected to be, as we predicted it would here at Bitter and Blue. the defense wan't especially broke, there was just an element of opposition luck at play.
The First Goal
Pretty conclusive here. Man City score the first goal at home, save for Spurs, and are highly likely to go on and win the game. If we imagine Man City will score the first goal against Everton, and the evidence suggests it, then we should see Man City win the game, again, the evidence suggests it to be true.
Man City are an extremely good team at home. We can talk of unbeaten streaks, the 18 wins out of 19 home games last term, but this year they are equally impressive too. The best team in terms of shot and shots on target differential, the 3rd best possession team, a healthy pdo score, a strong first goal of the game record. All these things point to Man City winning a lot of games at home, the one concern for me is the lack of games against a quality set of opposition.
Everton are quality opposition despite red flags against their early season form, and Man City, under Mancini at least, have struggled against Moyes and his men. Expect a cracker of a game come 3pm on Saturday, a game that Man City are likely to win. City's home form and underlying home numbers point to that conclusion.