Manchester City look to build on their trophy celebrations in Saudi Arabia with a victory on Wednesday night as they travel to Goodison Park to face Everton.
It was a successful outing last time out for the Blues, when they travelled to Jeddah for two matches on their FIFA Club World Cup debut. Victory last Tuesday against Urawa Reds teed up a place in the final against Fluminense, with City looking to win their fifth trophy of 2023.
With plenty of expectations placed on Manchester City before the game, the blues made the ultimate start, with Julian Alvarez improvising to chest the ball home, taking the lead after just 40 seconds. The lightning quick start would only be a sign of things to come, with Phil Foden forcing an own goal not long after, moving into a comfortable 2-0 lead at half-time.
In control and in the lead, City continued to push, with Foden extending the lead to three with a goal of his own, before Alvarez rounded off the scoring to put the final nail in the coffin, earning a deserved piece of silverware as the illustrious trophy cabinet continues to grow in Manchester.
However, despite the euphoria of a trophy sustained in Saudi Arabia, Pep Guardiola will be perfectly aware of how things are playing out back home, with Manchester City now sitting eight points off top spot with two games in hand.
While Liverpool sit at the summit, Manchester City must focus their attention on the other Merseyside club, with Sean Dyche’s Everton in an inspired run of form following their 10-point deduction from the Premier League last month.
There aren’t many sides in world football that will invoke fear into Manchester City, but the blues will be well aware of the gruelling task that lies ahead. With that being said, here is the side we predict will start the game on Wednesday night, looking to bring the three points back to Manchester!
Ederson will start between the sticks for Manchester City on Wednesday night, with the Brazilian international number one choice keeping a couple of much-needed clean sheets in Saudi Arabia last week.
Kyle Walker had an excellent game in the final which should strike some much-needed confidence into the full-back. As such, we expect the Manchester City captain to keep his place in the side at Everton.
John Stones should be partnering Ruben Dias in this one with no questions asked, with the leaky defence in recent times across Premier League matches needing a sustainable partnership to bolster it back up.
We think Nathan Ake will be given the nod over Josko Gvardiol on Merseyside this week, with the Dutchman more experienced in this physical type of match and having largely been faultless when called upon this season.
Every Manchester City fan in the world gulped and prayed as Rodri was forced off with an injury in the final against Fluminense. Fortunately, the Spaniard has confirmed to the media that he is okay to play this week, and as such we expect that to be the case.
The ever-reliable Bernardo Silva should be starting this one and we think it will be alongside his fellow Portugal international Matheus Nunes, who has recently come alive in a Manchester City shirt following a somewhat slow start to life at the club.
Phil Foden said he was “over the world” following the victory over Fluminense in midweek, and we expect the Englishman to start this one as part of an attack making up for missing firepower due to injuries.
Julian Alvarez started and ended the scoring in Saudi Arabia in the FIFA Club World Cup with two very different, but equally brilliant, bits of skill to finish. We expect the Argentine to start this one given the continued absence of Erling Haaland.
As such, Jack Grealish is also expected to be given the nod in the Manchester City frontline due to the unavailability of Jeremy Doku, completing our predicted side for Wednesday’s clash on Merseyside.
Starting XI: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Ake; Rodri, Bernardo, Nunes; Foden, Alvarez, Grealish.
Substitutes: Ortega Moreno, Lewis, Akanji, Gvardiol, Gomez, Phillips, Susoho, Kovacic, Bobb.
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