City manager Roberto Mancini will be looking to maintain his superb start as City visit Everton on Saturday.
The blues’ 4-1 demolition of Blackburn on Monday made it four wins from four under the Italian, while the Blues are on a five-match winning run having beaten Sunderland in Mark Hughes’ last game in charge. Monday’s victory over Blackburn sent the blues back into the top four and revived hopes of claiming a UEFA Champions League place.
Top scorer Carlos Tevez will again lead the attack following his hat-trick against Rovers, which took his tally for the season to 15 in all competitions and was awarded the Premier League’s player of the month before kick-off on Monday.
Victory on Merseyside will cement the blues place in the top four but the chances of the blues making ground on the three teams above them look unlikely as Chelsea entertain Sunderland and Burnley visit Old Trafford, while Arsenal travel to Bolton.
Everton lie five points above the relegation zone and have only won one of their last nine league matches, their 2-0 victory over Burnley being just the third home win in the league this season. But the Toffees are unbeaten in six league games since losing the Merseyside derby at the end of November and have seen their injury list ease as they aim for the top half of the table.
Emmanuel Adebayor may still be missing for City following the gun attack on the Togo team bus which left three people dead, which could mean Mancini will stick with Zimbabwe striker Benjani to partner Tevez up front. The City boss could therefore name an unchanged line-up, although Shaun Wright-Phillips (ankle) and new signing Patrick Vieira (calf) could be in contention.
Joleon Lescott is still out of action and unable to face his former club for the first time since his bitter summer move from Everton.
Lucas Neill will play his final game for Everton as the Australian defender has agreed a £750,000 move to Turkish giants Galatasaray.
Fellow defender Sylvain Distin (hamstring) returned to training this week after five weeks out but is unlikely to face his former club so should replace Neill for next week’s visit of Birmingham. American forward Landon Donovan is set to play his first home game for the Toffees having come in for his debut against Arsenal following his loan move from LA Galaxy.
Yakubu Aiyegbeni and Joseph Yobo are on African Cup of Nations duty with Nigeria, along with City’s Ivory Coast defender Kolo Toure.
Everton (from): Howard, Distin, Heitinga, Baines, Neill, Bilyaletdinov, Vaughan, Cahill, Neville, Fellaini, Pienaar, Osman, Donovan, Nash, Baxter, Agard, Coleman, Duffy.
Manchester City (from): Given, Taylor, Zabaleta, Richards, Onuoha, Sylvinho, Garrido, Trippier, Wright-Phillips, Kompany, De Jong, Barry, Bellamy, Robinho, Benjani, Petrov, Weiss, Tevez, Santa Cruz, Vidal, Boyata, Tutte.
League Form (Last 5)
Former United striker Louis Saha has been in good form and the blues defence will need to keep him quiet on Saturday.
Over The Blue Moon Prediction
A busy afternoon for the blues but it should be even busier for the home side – Everton 0-2 City.
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