Connect with us

Match Coverage

John Stones and Mateo Kovacic to return – Predicted XI: Manchester City vs Everton (Premier League)



| Last Updated:


Manchester City host Everton this Saturday lunch-time at the Etihad Stadium as they look to return to the top of the Premier League.

After last weekend’s games, City found themselves with the opportunity to go just two points within Liverpool, with a game in hand. Jurgen Klopp’s side were dismantled at the Emirates by Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal in a result that blew the title race wide open.

Still, City had their job to do when they visited Brentford on a cold Monday evening, the only side that did the double over Pep Guardiola’s side last season.

Despite a dominant start to proceedings, Neil Maupay gave the Bees a 1-0 lead after latching onto a goal-kick from Mark Flekken. The Frenchman took his opportunity well but was allowed the chance due to dismal defending from the Blues’ defence.

Nevertheless, following a flurry of missed chances, Phil Foden grabbed an equaliser on the stroke of half-time, taking advantage of a poor cleared header by Ethan Pinnock.

Not long after, Foden was at the double as he flipped the game on its head for Pep Guardiola’s side. Kevin De Bruyne’s pinpoint cross was met by Foden’s glancing header and shortly after, City’s No.47 had his hat-trick.

After a one-two with Erling Haaland, Foden shimmied past the defence and calmly slotted the ball past a hopeless Flekken, ensuring the treble-winners took a crucial three points back to Manchester.

Manchester City now turn their attention to the first of three home Premier League matches, with a struggling Everton side travelling to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Toffees haven’t beaten Manchester City since 2017, and Pep Guardiola is also unbeaten against Sean Dyche in his managerial career.

As it was at Brentford, the Blues are the only team in the Premier League to have a fully-fit squad going into this game week meaning plenty of healthy decisions for Guardiola to make.

Here’s how we expect City to lineup against Everton:

Predicted XI

Starting between the sticks will be Ederson.

With all of City’s defenders back and ready to start, the back-four is difficult to predict, especially with Guardiola’s tendency to throw a surprise in there. After a couple of impressive performances, we expect Kyle Walker to start on the right.

In the middle, Ruben Dias will keep his place and next to him, we expect John Stones to return to the XI.

On the left of the defence, it’s a genuine 50/50 between Josko Gvardiol and Nathan Ake, we’ve selected the Dutchman but don’t be shocked if City’s summer-signing is preferred.

Perhaps the easiest of the lot, Rodri will start in holding midfield.

Unlike in the Spaniard’s position, Guardiola is stacked with options ahead of him. We expect Kevin De Bruyne to keep his place, partnering Mateo Kovacic who comes back in for Julian Alvarez.

Spearheading City’s attack will more than likely be Erling Haaland as he looks to add to his Premier League goal-tally of 14.

To the left of him, Phil Foden will undoubtedly keep his spot as a result of not only his midweek hat-trick but a very productive season as a whole.

In a similar manner to Guardiola’s midfield and left-back situation, the opposite flank will be filled by one of a few options. Jeremy Doku and Jack Grealish are two obvious contenders, but we believe Bernardo Silva will be deployed on the right.

Starting XI: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Ake; Rodri, De Bruyne, Kovacic; Silva, Haaland, Foden.

Substitutions: Ortega Moreno, Lewis, Akanji, Gvardiol, Grealish, Nunes, Bobb, Alvarez, Doku.