Everton v Manchester City - 1.30pm Sun 15th Jan - Premier League Match Day Thread


Alert Team
After the comprehensive victory over West Ham fades into memory, City and Pep Guardiola return to Premier League action against Ronald Koeman’s Everton in the first part of Sky’s Merseyside vs Manchester and just outside Manchester Blockbuster MegaSunday Football.

Having opted for three at the back last time out City fans will eagerly await the team news when it is posted at 12.30 on Sunday afternoon. In the reverse fixture back in October Pep opted for three at the back and benched Aguero. City missed two penalties (De Bruyne and Aguero) and Martin Stekeleburg played the game of his life. City were undone by a rush of blood on the halfway line which left Clichy exposed to the pace and strength of Romelu Lukaku and City were behind. It took a headed goal from Nolito to regain parity in the match but when your side miss two penalties in a game it is natural for gaining of the point to feel like scant consolation.

As we move into the second half of the season Pep now has the opportunity to demonstrate whether he can blend his coaching ability and renowned capacity to study the game with the experience he has gained from playing his opponents previously. This can be both a blessing and a danger - he will have gained knowledge of the league, other PL teams and his players…….but he will now perhaps be faced with less leeway in forgiveness for any mistakes in selection or formation. Everyone will be scrutinising his tactics to see if he has learned any lessons and whether he is truly adapting to the demands of this most challenging footballing arena. I say “Bring It On”! After having faced an often sceptical and borderline xenophobic attitude I am seriously hoping that he can apply what he has learnt and that his side can demonstrate the sort of fluidity and positive play that we witnessed at the London Stadium last week in the 0-5 thrashing of West Ham. That performance was outstanding and should have led to confidence coursing through the veins of the squad. They now need to transfer that feeling and approach to the league.

Distractions abound of course from the silliness of social media posts by Sagna after the Burnley game to the mass publicity generated by what surely is a series of administrative errors resulting in City being charged by the FA under anti-doping regulation for failing to follow proper notification procedures in respect of player whereabouts. From some of the headlines you would imagine the entire squads from the first team, the U23’s and U18s all sitting in chairs hooked up to i/v bags full of performance enhancing drugs in a massive covert bunker buried deep underneath the City Football Academy. Ferran Soriano (wearing an eye patch of course in an effort to look like the archetypal Bond villain) sat up on a raised platform in a gigantic gull wing chair gently stroking a white cat complete the image…….

That there is some culpability within the club there can be non doubt given that the charge has come after the club has fallen foul of the ‘3 strikes’ policy. Once is a mistake; twice is unfortunate; three times starts to smack a little of incompetence I am sorry to say. Questions will undoubtedly be being asked within the club’s administrative offices. Someone forgot to fax/email/carrier pigeon (it is the FA after all) alterations to the players whereabouts schedule for any given week is perhaps not a surprise actually given how onerous the details required are - by 10am on a Monday the club must inform the FA of where their players will be for the remainder of the week including training times, travel, days off, home addresses and hotels. Any changes to this schedule have to be notified to the FA and it would seem likely that this is where things went wrong.

Given the complex nature of the club and the size of the squads (approx 65+? players across the first team, EDS & Academy U18s) I am frankly surprised that more clubs don’t fall foul of the requirement to keep the FA updated on changes to the schedules of all those involved. What we don’t know is whether the breaches have been gross i.e. failure to send the details in altogether at the start of the week, or whether there have been 3 minor glitches involving say a change to a single player’s location or a shift in the timing of the first team’s training day arrangements. The possibility for this to go wrong must be legion - an U18 player needs to go for a hospital appointment; a player is taken ill and is unable to train perhaps or a member of the EDS has to miss training to attend a funeral……

What ground the gears of most City fans though was the way in which the matter was reported. From the headlines in media - “Man City in drugs shock!” - the implication and image conjured up is as above - massed ranks of Man City players in their training kit undergoing co-ordinated blood-doping on a scale which would have made Lance Armstrong start to hyper-ventilate.

One can expect a fine of course and who knows what else. Given how the cards have fallen for the club this season with bans for players without corresponding action being taken against opponents (Chalobah & Fabregas); the decision making in games (Taylor, Mason) coupled with the leniency witnessed for players from other clubs (Costa early in the season, Rojo, Twatan more recently) City fans might be forgiven for expecting the club to be thrown out of the Premier League and banned from the Champions League for ten years. We also wait to see what will happen to Sagna after his ill-advised post on Instagram after the hard won victory over Burnley. A fine is likely but a ban for him is not out of the question. No matter how much some City fans feel about the way in which the club seems to be being dealt pretty garbage hands this season there is only ever likely to be one winner in the realm of ‘bringing the game into disrepute’ - the FA hold all the cards and provide very little wriggle room for players.

Perhaps all this coupled with Pep’s clear anger after the Burnley game and the scintillating nature of the victory over West Ham can all be added together into a potent mix which will sustain the squad over the coming months. Siege mentalities have served other clubs before - maybe we can tap into that well of energy and determination and Pep can get his side to show everyone once again just what they are capable of?

There could be no better place to start than at Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon. City have fared marginally better recently at Goodison than at the other ground just across Stanley Park but what strikes me most about the fixtures is the disparity in the cards issued - City’s record of 14 yellow cards is more than double that of the Toffees. I know, I didn’t believe it either. Given Pep’s waspish reference after the Burnley game to the “disciplinary problems within his squad” we will no doubt be watching with great interest how Mark Clattenburg Not MBE does his job at the weekend. We can only hope that he has a good game, officiates impartially and that Raheem Sterling has his arms taped to his side before the game.

Come On City!!!

Team News:

Man City:
> Out - Gundogan
> Doubtful - Fernando; Kompany; Sane

> Out - Bolasie; Besic
> Doubtful - McCarthy; Lennon; Stekelenburg

Everton will be missing Bolasie and trained assassin Besic. Slight doubts exist over double penalty saving wonder keeper Stekelenburg, McCarthy and Lennon.

City could welcome back club captain Vincent Kompany. After sustaining a knee ligament injury in the unfortunate collision with Bravo at Selhurst Park he resumed full training and may well feature this weekend. He will of course be desperate to prove his fitness before the end of the month and the submission of City’s squad for the knockout rounds of the Champions League. Sane and Fernando are also slight doubts.

League Standing & Form:

04 Man City P20 W13 D03 L04 GF41 GA22 GD+19 Pts42 Form LWWWLW
07 Everton P20 W08 D06 L06 GF28 GA23 GD+5 Pts30 Form LWLWDW

Previous meeting (last 6 matches at Goodison Park):

EFLC 06/10/16 Everton 2 Man City 1
EPL 23/08/15 Everton 0 Man City 2
EPL 10/01/15 Everton 1 Man City 1
EPL 03/05/14 Everton 2 Man City 3
EPL 16/03/13 Everton 2 Man City 0
EPL 31/01/12 Everton 1 Man City 0

Goals - Everton 8 City 7
Y Cards - Everton 6 City 14
R Cards - Everton 1 City 0

Top scorers (PL):
Man City - Aguero 11; Sterling 5; Nolito 4
Everton - Lukaku 11; Barkley 2; Barkley 3


Alert Team
I can see you've put in a lot of work, as usual. Nice one Skoorb. :021:



Alert Team
Excellent curtain-raiser again, Skoorb.
Schneiderlin has completed his move and is available to the Toffees. I wonder if Jesus will be introduced. I would be inclined to have him on the bench and brought on for some game time second half.

Looks like the B game will have some significance (according to all the Media as the Dippers and Stretford are both challenging for the title) because if the game of the centuary fails to live up to its billing, then a City win could see us in second place come Sunday night.

another top Preview Skoorb


Alert Team
I listened to BBC R5L driving home from my 5 a side this evening - it was such a rag/dipper love in :022: i thought I would have to step the car more than once to avoid me being hidesouly sick into the footwell :024: The sychophancy was in full flow.


Vital Squad Member
I feel the game will be determined by which Yaya and Bravo turn up. The lazy and the calamitous or the class acts they can be. Pep needs to manage this one very well. Especially with spuds on the horizon. Couple of early goals would be nice.

Don't mind neverton. They do their best with limited resources and fanfare. Hope they lie down to stuff the dippers.


Alert Team
Stand by for Stones to get the same reaction from the Everton fans that their neighbours give to Sterling. Classy scousers :065:


Alert Team
Caught up with the rest of the R5L Football Social when it was broadcast gains this morning - the rag/dipper love in :022: continued. The host, Darren Fletcher, had the gall to say how Klopp was 'forced' to play so many youngsters in the FA cup last weekend before in the next breath saying 'lthough there were some fringe first team players that could have been given a game'. Err, bit contradictory there Darren don't you think?

Everton v City?

Not mentioned.


Vital Football Legend
Good to see the levels of paranoia cranked up to the max!

No sign of Brasils #9 yet - but VK4 on the berti before enjoying a ten minute cameo leaving him fit enough and with enough energy to cash his win bonus cheque when the banks open for business after their Sunday off. Would be nice.

Kompany on the bench might be a good bet. He will be desperate for game time to be in the reckoning for the Champions League squad which is to be announced on 1st Feb
A superb preview by Skoorb.

I think we won't get a better chance to win at Everton under Koeman. Morale low, out of both cups at the first hurdles, team in heavy transition. The man himself: “Most of the players know the situation. Some players in the squad now don’t have a future for Everton.” Be ruthless again City.
And so after today's results we slip to 5th spot raising the stakes for tomorrow's game.

We are playing tomorrow aren't we? Only it's hard to believe that there is any other game happening on the entire planet on Sunday except for the 'Class of the classless' at the Old Toilet.


Alert Team
Today's results have conspired against us. We HAVE to beat Everton tomorrow (will need a bottle of red to keep the nerves under control) and then take on Spurs next Saturday. Have to say thou that the Spuds have their mojo running wild and we will have our work cut out (gulp!!).


Vital Football Hero
Yes, watched the Spurs game, they ran the baggies into the ground. Both Spurs fullbacks played well and spent most of their time in the baggies half of the pitch.
We can only hope that after having played each opponent once that Pep will have a plan......

I will be having lunch with the Out Laws which is probably just as well given that the tension will be sky high after yesterday's results!


Alert Team
Everton v Man City: What The Papers Say (Round Up)

With pre-match build up well underway, and only a few short hours to kick-off I thought I’d take a peek at today’s papers to see how are they are covering the game.

City XI

Bravo, Sagna, Stones, Otamendi, Clichy, Zabaleta, Toure, Sterling, De Bruyne, Silva, Agüero


Caballero, Kolarov, Navas, Delph, Sane, Garcia, Iheanacho