After losing ground on Liverpool, Arsenal and Aston Villa, Pep Guardiola’s FIFA Club World Cup champions return to Premier League duty as we look ahead to Wednesday’s game with our Everton vs Manchester City prediction and preview.
Everton vs Manchester City Stats: Quick Hits
- The Opta supercomputer predicts an away win at Goodison Park, with Manchester City triumphing against Everton in 62.1% of data-powered simulations.
- Everton have won just one of their last 20 Premier League games against Man City.
- Everton boss Sean Dyche has lost 12 of his 13 Premier League meetings with Man City’s Pep Guardiola.
Manchester City return to Premier League action after securing their first FIFA Club World Cup triumph when they visit Sean Dyche’s resurgent Everton for Wednesday’s top-flight clash at Goodison Park, though the reigning top-flight champions have dropped ground on title contenders Arsenal, Liverpool and Aston Villa since their trip to Saudi Arabia.
Pep Guardiola’s side returned to Manchester with a present for the festive period after lifting the Club World Cup following a 3-0 semi-final victory over Urawa Red Diamonds and a 4-0 success against Fluminense in Friday’s showpiece in Jeddah. Julián Álvarez was twice on target, along with a Phil Foden strike and a Nino own goal, as Guardiola succeeded in the global competition for a fourth time after triumphs with Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
The FIFA competition was a welcome distraction from Man City’s underwhelming league form after winning just one of their last six Premier League games (D4 L1), coming from behind to beat Luton Town 2-1 earlier this month alongside draws with Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur before a 1-0 defeat against Aston Villa. It’s the first time they’ve had a run of just one win in six league games since February/March 2016 (W1 D1 L4).
A last-gasp 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace was the other – and most recent – game in that six-game struggle as Michael Olise’s 95th-minute penalty snatched a point for Roy Hodgson’s men, who trailed 2-0 after goals from Jack Grealish and Rico Lewis. Guardiola can take some comfort from Grealish’s form, though, the former Villa captain scoring three goals in three Premier League games for City, as many as he had in his previous 23.
City’s troublesome period over November and December coincided with a foot injury for Erling Haaland, with the talismanic Norwegian forward missing the trip to Luton and home clash with Palace as Argentina’s FIFA World Cup winner Álvarez deputised. Haaland, Jérémy Doku and Kevin De Bruyne – the latter who has not played since August – all travelled to the Club World Cup but it remains unclear when the trio will return, while Guardiola also awaits an update on the fitness of Rodri after an injury concern against Fluminense.
Tottenham leapfrogged Man City – who are six points behind Premier League leaders Arsenal and five adrift of Liverpool and Aston Villa – into fourth in the league table after Matchday 18 with a battling 2-1 victory over Everton, whose late goal from André Gomes failed to inspire a comeback after strikes for former Toffee Richarlison and Son Heung-min.
Saturday’s reverse at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium ended a four-game winning streak in the Premier League – against Nottingham Forest, Newcastle United, Chelsea and Burnley – for Dyche’s Everton, who still sit four points clear of 18th-placed Luton Town in the relegation zone heading into Matchday 19 despite their 10-point deduction towards the end of November.
A first-half injury for Idrissa Gueye added concern for the Goodison Park club at Tottenham, though Dyche’s line-up could be boosted by the return of Abdoulaye Doucouré, Ashley Young and Seamus Coleman for Wednesday’s kick-off that will come too soon for the injured Dele Alli. Everton’s other decision will come up top, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin struggling for goals – he has not scored since the end of October against West Ham United – Dyche may call upon Beto, who netted against Newcastle at the start of this month.
Everton vs Manchester City Head-to-Head
Everton seemingly turned a corner under Dyche in recent weeks but have won just one of their last 20 Premier League games against Man City (D5 L14) and are winless in 12 against them (D2 L10) since a 4-0 victory in January 2017.
Indeed, Man City have won their last six away league games against Everton, scoring at least three times in four of those. It’s more victories than they’d managed in their previous 26 visits to Goodison Park (W5 D7 L14).
City were 3-0 victors in this fixture last season as Ilkay Gündogan – now of Barcelona – scored twice and Haaland netted on Merseyside in May, while Dyche’s lack of success against Guardiola offers little room for optimism again. The Everton boss has lost 12 of his 13 Premier League meetings with the Spaniard (D1), including the last nine in a row, by an aggregate score of 29-1. Before Guardiola joined the club, Dyche had been unbeaten against the Citizens in the top flight (W1 D1).
However, Dyche has won four of his 15 Premier League games against reigning champions (D1 L10), beating Man City in 2014-15, Leicester City in 2016-17, Chelsea in 2017-18 and Liverpool in 2020-21. While he’s lost 67% of these games, his 27% win rate against reigning champions is the best of any English manager in Premier League history (min. 15 games).
Guardiola’s side usually pick up form into the new year and embark on a colossal run to overthrow fellow Premier League title challengers, as Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal found out last season, but the former Barcelona boss may be concerned by Man City’s ongoing defensive fragilities.
Last season’s treble winners have conceded at least once in each of their last seven Premier League games since their 3-0 humbling of rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford towards the end of October. City have not had a longer run without a clean sheet since an eight-game period between December/January in 2018-19.
Those defensive concerns may be further aggravated by the visit to Goodison Park, where Everton have won their last two Premier League home games, beating Newcastle United 3-0 and Chelsea 2-0. The Toffees last won more consecutively at home in September 2021 (four), while they last did so without conceding in August 2019 (five).
Abdoulaye Doucouré, if fit, will be the one to watch on Wednesday given he has scored in each of his last two Premier League home games. Everton have won all six of their home league games in which he’s scored, while he’s found the net in all three of their victories at Goodison Park so far this term (against Bournemouth, Newcastle and Chelsea).
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off in this game, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Everton vs Manchester City Opta Player Ratings
Before kick-off in this match, here are the top five performing players from both teams in the 2023-24 Premier League according to the Opta Player Ratings:
Vitalii Mykolenko: 71.2 (out of 100)
James Tarkowski: 67.1
Amadou Onana: 66.3
Abdoulaye Doucouré: 64.4
Dwight McNeil: 64.3
Bernardo Silva: 79.6
Kyle Walker: 79.0
Erling Haaland: 78.9
Jérémy Doku: 75.4
Everton vs Manchester City: Prediction
Despite a lean spell of form, the Opta supercomputer backs Manchester City to return to winning ways as the visitors triumphed in 62.1% of 10,000 data-powered simulations compared to an Everton victory in just 14.5% of predictions.
Another draw would add further damage to City’s recent struggles, with that result occurring in 23.4% of data-led scenarios, although Guardiola’s side are still favourites to defend their title – their 44.7% title-winning chances leave them clear of Liverpool (22.1%) and Arsenal (26.8%) after the two sides drew 1-1 on Saturday at Anfield.
Meanwhile, Everton’s relegation chances are ranked at just 6% with their most likely league-table finish in 16th – the position they currently occupy heading into MD 19 – predicted in 20.3% of season simulations.