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Everton v Manchester City: The Opposition

A Look At City’s First Christmas Opponents

Everton FC v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Manchester City face travel to Goodison Park as Everton provide the first test of the Christmas period for the World Champions. The blues arrive on Merseyside, fresh from securing their first Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia, and will be eager to start playing catch-up in the Premier League.

City have slipped to 5th in the table, but results have gone in City’s favour, with three of the four teams above drawing at the weekend. If scores once again go their way, victory will see the blues close the gap with a game in hand.

Form

If it wasn’t for an FA charge, Everton would be in 10th place and pushing for a place in Europe, rather than just four points off the relegation zone. The Toffees received a ten-point deduction in November and, following a home defeat to the Stretford Rangers, won their next four league matches, before losing to Spurs at the weekend.

Everton hadn’t been having a bad season, but four points from their opening seven matches was not the ideal start for Sean Dyche’s side. Overall, Everton have won and lost 8 so far this season, with their only draws coming against Sheffield United (2-2) and Brighton (1-1).

Against the current top six in the league, the Toffees lost 4-0 at Villa, 2-0 at Liverpool and 2-1 at Spurs. At home, they have beaten Newcastle (3-0) but lost 1-0 to Arsenal.

Danger Men

Abdoulaye Doucouré is Everton’s main danger in front of goal. The French midfielder has scored six goals from 20 matches so far this season, and the Toffees will be hoping he keeps up his goal-scoring feats for the rest of the season. Doucouré has attempted 23 shots at goal and has a goal conversion rate of 25%.

Striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin has hit four goals in 17 matches. With 34 attempts, he poses the biggest threat to City’s defence, however, his goal conversion rate is just 12%. Portuguese star Beto has three goals this season while six players have two each.

A word of warning though. Andre Gomes made his first appearance of the season for Everton at Spurs, had two shots on target and scored with one of them!

Dwight McNeill is Everton’s supplier-in-chief at the moment. The Rochdale-born winger has created 21 changes, 4 of which have been taken. McNeill’s last assist came in Everton’s 2-0 win at Burnley a week before Christmas.

Jack Harrison has three assists from his 14 chances created while Doucouré has created the most chances with 22, while Calvert-Lewin has the lowest number of attempted passes (233) and lowest pass accuracy (55%).

Keep an eye out for Amadou Onana. The Belgian international scored two, created 18 chances (1 taken) and has the highest pass accuracy through the whole Everton team with 84%.

The Boss

Sean Dyche spent 10 years at Burnley before leaving in April 2022. He joined Everton in January 2023 and has endured a difficult time at Goodison Park. However, despite only presiding over 40 games, he actually has a better win ratio than his time with the Clarets.

Dyche has a 40% win ratio, winning 16 and losing 15 of those 40 matches so far, compared to the 35% ratio at Turf Moor. We’ll see what that looks like if he manages 425 matches, as he did in deepest Lancashire.

Last Time At Goodison

City took a giant step towards a third consecutive Premier League title with a convincing win at Goodison Park. Ilkay Gundogan’s flicked finish gave City the lead, and, when Erling Haaland doubled the advantage two minutes later, City were placing one hand on the Premier League title. Gundogan sealed the points in the 51st minute to leave City on the brink of glory and the Toffees dangerously close to relegation.