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Sky Blue News: Everton Preview, Erling + Julian 4Ever, Phillips and Alvarez Updates, and More...

Matchday headlines from Bitter and Blue.

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Leeds United v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Manchester City are back to winning in the Premier League and looking to keep it going against Everton at the Etihad. Sky Blue News has all the latest to get you ready. Here we go.

Manchester City v Everton: Preview, Team News and Prediction - Saul Garcia - Bitter and Blue

City have four wins in our last five top flight games and currently sit in second place in the table,

On the other side, Everton linger just one point above the relegation zone in 17th place, with just one win in their last five top-flight fixtures.

A fun match with some key players on both sides, what can come out of this one?

Which team will come out in front?

Team News

Pep Guardiola’s side have just Ruben Dias out.

Everton have Townsend and Garner out. Calvert-Lewin is doubtful.

Manchester City vs. Everton: another start for the City youngster? - Laura Graves - Man City Square

Manchester City host Everton at the Etihad tomorrow fresh off the back of a 1-3 victory at Elland Road. Despite a frustrating first half, the blues secured all three points avoiding an 11 point gap to the gunners, eh Aluko?

Everton will come into the game in poor form, a story of their season so far, having only won only 3 of 16 and sitting 17th on 14 points, 1 point above the relegation zone. Will they see themselves in another relegation battle this season?

After impressive performances from our very own Manchester City youngster, Rico Lewis, can he continue to keep Walker out of the starting XI?


City have been hugely successful under Guardiola, winning four Premier League titles, four League Cups and an FA Cup.

But the boss believes that Lewis’s energy is driving him and the players on to win even more.

Guardiola signed a signed a(sic) two-year contract extension in November that will keep him at City until the summer of 2025.

He says the fact that ‘still we are there’ in fighting for the big prizes makes him proud – and also eager to continue working together with the team.

And he stresses that Lewis plays a key role in the motivation levels of the group.

“I said many times, what I’m most proud of is that still we are there,” said Guardiola.

“In the Carabao Cup, still we are there - beating Chelsea and Liverpool - still we are there. That’s why I’m so proud. That’s what gives me the feeling that I want to continue to work with these guys in this club knowing that if we drop it will not be enough.

Why Paring Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez will be Great for Manchester City - Emmanuel Odey - Bitter and Blue

Having so far spent most of his time at the club on the bench, he will now want to take a step forward and have a taste of regular football. Such a desire will be justified as he proved himself at the biggest stage of all. His performance for Argentina made one thing clear: he is too good to be relegated to the bench.

Following the tournament, Pep Guardiola may have found out, much like the Argentine coach, that pairing him with the striker up front could yield many benefits. Erling Haaland may be the king of goals at Manchester City right now, but he cannot do it all alone.

Games such as the one against Brentford just before the World Cup are a reminder that everyone’s contribution will be needed. Although City are the top scorers in the division right now, the team is still five points behind Arsenal on the league table.

As it stands, if the season ended today Arsenal would be crowned champions despite City’s better goal difference. That underscores the importance of winning every game or dropping points in as few matches as possible.

So apart from keeping him happy, the team stands to benefit from Alvarez playing regularly. That will keep him sharp and in form while keeping his confidence high. That way, he can always come through whenever he is needed.

Frank Lampard reveals he tried to sign Erling Haaland while in charge at Chelsea - James Hunsley - Goal

WHAT HAPPENED? The moment came when the big Norwegian was playing at Salzburg, when Lampard had the opportunity to coach against the player. The Toffees manager admitted that he was well aware of the talent Haaland possessed even at that early stage, which is why he tried to make a move for him, although that never materialised.

WHAT THEY SAID: “[Haaland] is an amazing player and the ultimate top level players generally can do what he does in a top level league,” Lampard told reporters ahead of Everton’s match against City. “I coached against him in a pre-season game when he was playing for Salzburg. I tried to sign him for Chelsea and it was not to be.

“It was clear in our pre-match preparation what this boy was. Fair play to him. We are going against him and I respect those at the top of their game. I watched the World Cup final with [Kylian] Mbappe and [Lionel] Messi and Haaland has got himself in that bracket at a very young age.”

Pep Guardiola gives Kalvin Phillips and Julian Alvarez updates ahead of Man City vs Everton - Simon Bajkowski - Manchester Evening News

City are missing Ruben Dias through a hamstring injury and will play another game without World Cup winner Alvarez as he finishes his rest following Argentina’s successful tournament. The young striker will return to Manchester following the Everton game and could be in contention for the matches against Chelsea next week.

Guardiola also stressed that Kalvin Phillips will be available again after he was excluded from the Carabao Cup win over Liverpool because he returned ‘overweight’ after the World Cup. The midfielder was back in the squad for the game against Leeds after Christmas, where he was an unused substitute.

“He’s coming back fit. He’s in the condition to train at a high level and we will decide when he plays,” the manager said.

And finally... The boss has some kind words as he remembers O Rei.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola pays tribute to Pele - Harry Winters - City Xtra

Three days of national mourning have been declared in Brazil and Premier League clubs will honour Pele’s contribution to football by holding a minute’s applause prior to matches this weekend.

Speaking ahead of Manchester City’s clash with Everton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, Pep Guardiola paid tribute to Pele’s legacy.

“On behalf of Manchester City, biggest condolences to his family,” said Pep Guardiola.

“Football is football thanks to these kinds of people. Before number ten was just a number, after became something special, every player wants to wear number ten. What he has done for football is there and will remain.”

There you have it Cityzens. Stay with us at Bitter and Blue for all the build up to City v Everton, and follow @BitterandBlue1 on Twitter for all the latest reaction. Come on City!!!!