This is a crucial game at both ends of the table for the blue halves of two famous cities. Here’s our Everton vs Manchester City prediction and preview.
Everton vs Manchester City: Quick Hits
- Manchester City are predicted to maintain their title charge by the Opta supercomputer (67.5% chance of an away win).
- Everton are looking for back-to-back wins for the first time since October.
- Man City are on a 10-game winning streak in the Premier League, the fifth time they have achieved that feat under Pep Guardiola.
Stunning attacking play, perfectly executing their manager’s gameplan, ruthless finishing and overwhelming the opposition, but that’s enough about Everton’s win at Brighton and Hove Albion.
It must have both delighted and annoyed Everton fans in equal measure on Monday when a team that had spent the majority of the season playing as if the concept of football was entirely alien to them all of a sudden had the ability to tear apart one of the best teams in the country on their own turf. The Toffees’ stunning 5-1 victory at Brighton was a huge boost to their hopes of avoiding relegation, with Opta’s supercomputer now giving them a 77.3% chance of staying up.
That number could reduce after this weekend though as Sean Dyche’s men prepare to host a rampant Manchester City. Like most teams, Everton do not have a great recent record against City, having won just one of their last 19 Premier League meetings (D5 L13), a 4-0 home success in January 2017. Everton have also won just four of their 46 Premier League games against sides starting the day top of the table, though one of those came in Dyche’s first game in charge in February against Arsenal.
Should they manage to pull off an upset here that would probably make the Gunners forgive them for that, Everton will record consecutive wins for the first time since October. However, Dyche has lost 11 of his last 12 games against Man City in the Premier League (D1), while Pep Guardiola’s side have won on each of their last five league visits to Goodison Park, as many as in their previous 26 at Everton in the top-flight (D7 L14). Should they win again, City would become only the second team to win six in a row at Everton after Portsmouth did so between 1948 and 1956.
Man City are doing what Man City do, especially at this time of year. They have hunted down Arsenal and now have a 90.7% chance of lifting another Premier League title according to Opta’s supercomputer, winning their last 10 Premier League games, the fifth time they have had a run of 10 or more wins since Guardiola arrived. The only other manager to have had more than two win streaks of such length in the Premier League era is Jürgen Klopp (three).
Their Champions League semi-final first leg draw at Real Madrid owed much to the brilliance of Kevin De Bruyne, whose performance proved that City are far from a one-man team as he was able to dictate the play despite Erling Haaland being largely marked out of the game by Antonio Rudiger. Either one or both could be rested at Goodison Park, which would be music to Evertonian ears if it weren’t for the plethora of talent awaiting to step in.
Man City will themselves need to keep an eye on Dwight McNeil, who was phenomenal in the Brighton win, claiming two goals and an assist. Since Dyche’s first game in charge in February, McNeil has been involved in more Premier League goals for Everton than any other player (seven – five goals, two assists).
Manchester City 1-1 Everton: 31 December 2022 (Premier League)
It looked to be another typical Man City performance at the Etihad Stadium on the final day of 2022. An early battle between Erling Haaland and Ben Godfrey had gotten the Norwegian all fired up, and he opened the scoring in the 24th minute after good work from Riyad Mahrez.
Former Everton man John Stones hit the post with a header from a De Bruyne free-kick, before Haaland received a yellow card for a reckless challenge on Vitalii Mykolenko as he continued to seemingly want to prove a point after his earlier scuffles with Godfrey.
Against the run of play, Everton equalised just after the hour mark as Rodri sloppily gave the ball away on the halfway line, allowing Demarai Gray the chance to run at the City defence. Gray slowed down as he entered the penalty area, before unleashing a shot that flew into the far top corner of the net past Ederson.
Guardiola’s side pressed for a winner put could not find a way past Jordan Pickford again, with Rodri heading a glorious chance wide in the closing moments as Frank Lampard’s Toffees held on for a well-earned draw.
Previous meeting line-ups:
Man City: Ederson, Nathan Aké, Manuel Akanji, John Stones, Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, Rico Lewis, Erling Haaland, Jack Grealish, Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez. Used Subs: Ilkay Gündogan, Julián Álvarez, Phil Foden.
Everton: Jordan Pickford, James Tarkowski, Nathan Patterson, Vitalii Mykolenko, Ben Godfrey, Conor Coady, Amadou Onana, Demarai Gray, Alex Iwobi, Idrissa Gueye, Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Used Subs: Séamus Coleman, Abdoulaye Doucouré, Tom Davies, Neal Maupay
As mentioned, Man City have carried on their annual tradition of becoming a seemingly unstoppable winning machine as soon as they get the scent of a Premier League title in their nostrils.
Unbeaten in 21 games in all competitions, City have won 17 of those, with three of their four draws coming in the Champions League, including their 1-1 stalemate against Real Madrid last time out. They are on a 10-game winning run in the Premier League, and have not lost since going down 1-0 at Tottenham Hotspur on 5 February.
Everton’s victory at Brighton ended a run of seven games without a win (D4 L3). It was also the first time they have won by scoring more than one goal since 22 October (3-0 vs. Crystal Palace), and their first away victory since 2 October (2-1 at Southampton).
Playing at Goodison Park may not be the biggest advantage either though, as no side has scored fewer home goals than Everton in the Premier League this season (15). The 3-0 win over Crystal Palace in October is the only time they have scored more than once in a home league game in 2022-23.
Everton: Alex Iwobi
Though McNeil has been more at the forefront in recent games, Iwobi has arguably been Everton’s best outfield player this season. The former Arsenal man has provided seven assists for the Toffees, the most for the club in a Premier League campaign since Ross Barkley’s eight in 2016-17.
Iwobi’s 136 attacking sequence involvements are also comfortably Everton’s most this season, ahead of Gray (93) and McNeil (92). The Nigerian has played more minutes, but also leads on involvements per 90 (3.9 to McNeil’s 3.7 and Gray’s 3.5).
He has had 36 shots, created 49 chances and been involved in the build-up to a shot 51 times. If Iwobi can bring his best against Man City, he could be crucial in breaking the lines and getting Everton up the pitch as he did at Brighton.
Manchester City: Riyad Mahrez
While the obvious choice would normally be De Bruyne or Haaland, with the second leg against Real Madrid to consider, it would not be a surprise to see Guardiola doing some rotating at Goodison Park.
Like all of his fellow substitutes in the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday, Mahrez went unused and so could come back in from the start on Sunday.
Mahrez has nine assists in the Premier League this season, with four of those coming in his last three games. Should he manage to add another two before the end of the campaign – having delivered 11 in 2015-16 and 10 in 2017-18 – it would make him only the third African player to reach double figures in three separate EPL seasons, after Didier Drogba and Mohamed Salah.
Everton vs Manchester City Prediction
The recent form of Man City coupled with their exemplary record at Goodison Park in the last few years sees Opta’s supercomputer make them heavy favourites for this one before kick-off. Guardiola and his team are given a 67.5% chance of claiming the three points on Sunday.
The atmosphere at Goodison Park is likely to be bouncing as they ride the wave of rare positivity following last week’s performance on the south coast, though that might not be the case if Leeds United or Nottingham Forest get anything from their games the day before. According to our projections, Dyche’s men have an 11.7% chance of pulling off an unlikely win that would surely see them stay up.
A draw is given a 20.8% likelihood of occurring, which would certainly be a better point for the hosts than the visitors, as it was in late December.