Manchester City football is back! The Citizens return to action this Saturday, playing a very tough Premier League match against Everton that promises entertainment, goals and excitement. Pep Guardiola and Ronald Koeman are friends, have similar football philosophies and both have guided their teams to very impressive starts.
The Sky Blues lost for the first time this season at White Hart Lane two weeks ago, and while that was a painful defeat, City played very well in some portions of that game, and Guardiola hopse to clean up the mistakes and go back to the things that made the team win 10 games in a row to start the season. City are yet to drop points at home, and need to continue that form in order to stay at the top of the table at the end of Matchweek 8.
Everton haven't won in their last three matches in all competitions, and Koeman's team will certainly play with urgency to avoid a fourth consecutive negative result and stay close to the European spots. The Toffees will present a very tough challenge for City, who will play Barcelona twice and Manchester United over the next three weeks and need a strong test to warm up for those games. Everton will be just that.
This should be good.
Date/Time: Saturday, October 15, 2016, 3pm local time, 10am ET, 7am PT (US), 7:30pm IST (India)
Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England
Referee: Michael Oliver
TV listings: NBCSN (US), NBC UNIVERSO (US - Spanish), TSN 4 (Canada), elsewhere
Online streaming: NBC Sports Live (US), TSN GO (Canada), elsewhere
Man City: Pep Guardiola didn't go into many details during his press conference, but the latest reports around the City camp give us some very good news: Kevin De Bruyne had a spectacular recovery from injury and will be fit at least for the bench on Saturday. The Belgian was initially expected to miss four weeks with a hamstring injury, but he's 100% healthy after just three and might even get some playing time against Everton to warm up for the Camp Nou trip.
Bacary Sagna and Vincent Kompany are definitely out for this game, though the captain was back in training this week and could be a surprise addition to the bench. Raheem Sterling didn't play with England during the international break due to a calf problem, but he's healthy again and trained without any problems in the last few days. He might not start to be ready for the Barça game, which opens the door for Leroy Sané to make his full Premier League debut.
Sergio Agüero played through injury with Argentina, and came back healthy to Manchester. He could be rested on Saturday, but we'll only know for sure once the team sheets are announced.
Everton: Koeman got some very good news during the international break: three of his most important players (Romelu Lukaku, Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines) recovered from minor injuries and will be fit to start against City. Lukaku's presence is certainly the biggest news, and the in-form Belgian will surely cause problems to his former teammate and current City defenderJohn Stones. The only important first team player missing out through injury is midfielder James McCarthy, but summer signing Gana Gueye has been very good in his place and will start again at the Etihad.
MAN CITY (4-3-3)
This will be tough and intense, and the coaching duel will be key to the result. But Pep has the most talent and doesn't want his team to lose before facing Barcelona. Plus, the Etihad will help. 3-1 City.