Manchester City will travel to Everton on Sunday hoping this match goes better than their last meeting with the Toffees. Last time at the Etihad City were denied twice from the penalty spot by Everton keeper Maarten Steklenberg. City should be looking for a measure of revenge, though taking the three points is paramount above all.
Returning to a familiar ground will be John Stones. Having left Everton for City right before the beginning of the season, the young Englishman could feature against his former club. It will be interesting to see the reception Stones receives from the home supporters.
Pep Guardiola will have most of his squad available for selection. Leroy Sané and Vincent Kompany have returned to training but the captain may still be behind in his fitness tests. New signing Gabriel Jesus hasn't officially been registered within the FA yet so the young Brazilian cannot feature this Sunday.
Below are the eleven players I believe Pep will select in his starting lineup. The 4-3-3 has done well for City recently so there should be no need to change.
Goalkeeper: Claudio Bravo
The Chilean keeper will continue to play Premier League and Champions League games. With the January transfer window open it seems Pep isn't interested in even looking for a bew goalkeeper until at least the summer, so the number one shirt remains Bravo’s.
Defense: Bacary Sagna, John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi, Gaël Clichy
Until Kompany passes a bunch of fitness tests, these are the best City defenders in the squad. Stones and Otamendi can both provide some scary moments to the fans, but through the middle they can mostly provide solid cover. Out wide Everton are missing Yannick Bolasie who would be able to cause big problems for Sagna or Clichy, but perhaps the veteran French duo might just have enough to contain the Toffees.
Midfield: Pablo Zabaleta, Yaya Touré, David Silva
Who would have thought Zabaleta and Touré would be the linchpins of City’s midfield in 2017? Guardiola seems to trust the veterans to provide cover and quickly spring from defense to attack when need be. David Silva can continue to play further forward in a free role behind the front three.
Forwards: Raheem Sterling, Sergio Agüero, Kevin De Bruyne
All three of these forwards are so difficult to leave out of a starting lineup. Perhaps Pep will try and fit Sané back into the squad but it’s difficult to see Sterling or Agüero benched at this point and De Bruyne can take games over single-handedly. Add the young talents of Gabriel Jesus, Kelechi Iheanacho and Sané and the coach has some good selection headaches for every game.
So that’s our predicted lineup! As for a score prediction, City obviously have the quality to score multiple goals, but can they keep Everton off the scoresheet? Maybe so. I believe City will walk out 2-0 winners, goals from Sterling and Agüero.