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Everton ‘v’ Manchester City – Preview

After a less than convincing victory against bottom of the table West Brom, Mark Hughes’s Manchester City make the short trip to Merseyside to face an Everton side brimming with confidence after reaching the FA Cup final. They defeated City’s bitter rivals, Manchester United, on penalties in the semi’s, before gaining a wonderful point in their previous match against their cup-final opponents, Chelsea. On the other hand, the recent results of the side from Manchester have been far from impressive, especially on the road, with just a solitary victory on their travels; a 3 – 0 hammering of Sunderland back in August.

The Toffees’ manager, David Moyes, is one of the most underrated bosses in the Premier League, having guided his side to consistently good finishes, always in and around the European spots, on a budget that is smaller than Shaun Wright-Phillips. He continues to make a plethora of fantastic signings, with the likes of Mikael Arteta, Tim Cahill and Phil Jagielka all signed for a fraction of their current worth. Currently, they lie in sixth place in the league, one point behind Aston Villa in the race for fifth spot, so will be pushing for a valuable win. City are tenth in the table as they head into this game, four points off the holy grail of seventh place, a position from which they would enter the Europa League. 


Moyes has worked wonders in his time at Everton

Team News

With the season almost over, and with virtually nothing to play for, Blues boss Mark Hughes has hinted that he will be tempted to throw a number of youngsters into the fray in the coming games, with Northern Irish international Ryan McGivern, who has already represented his country before playing a match for City, and Slovakian starlet Vladimir Weiss likely to be the main beneficiaries of Hughes’s new-found attitude. However, the manager has more pressing issues for this match, with Argentinean defender Pablo Zabaleta, who will certainly run Stephen Ireland close for the player of the year trophy, ruled out for the rest of the season with a hamstring injury. After dropping regular right-back Micah Richards for the match against West Brom, Hughes will be reluctant to recall the England wannabee immediately, but he may be forced into doing so, as the only other viable alternative in this position, young academy product Shaleum Logan, has only featured once for the Blues in the Premier League.

January signing Nigel de Jong is a major doubt with a thigh strain, so disaster may striker for the Blues with the knowledge that Gelson ‘Awful’ Fernandes may be given a start. Hughes will wait upon the fitness of influential winger Shaun Wright-Phillips before naming his side, but the speedy international remains doubtful. Up-front, Craig Bellamy is sidelined with injury, but after playing in midweek for the reserves, Valeri Bojinov has thrown his name into the hat for a starting place, hopefully instead of Felipe ‘Please Jump’ Caicedo.

The visitors had a superb result and performance in midweek when they faced the might of Chelsea, but the point the Toffees attained from the match may have come at a cost as they now have a number of injury concerns heading into this fixture. In addition to long term casualties Yakubu and Victor Anichebe, Spanish midfielder Mikael Arteta and dependable right-back Tony Hibbert are doubts as well. In addition to these worries, Evertonare devoid of the services of Brazilian striker Jo, who is on loan from City. Whilst at the Blues, Jo couldn’t hit a cow’s backside with a banjo, but since his move to Merseyside, he has been banging in the goals for fun, including a brace against Bolton and another two against Wigan.

 My Team (4-2-3-1)

                                                  Given

Logan                        Dunne                       Onuoha                        Bridge

                                 Richards                    Kompany

Elano                                        Ireland                                           Petrov

                                                Bojinov

Subs: Hart, Berti, Garrido, Robinho, Weiss, Sturridge, Evans

 
On-loan striker Jo is ineligible after joining Everton from City

Key Battles

Lars Jacobsen or Tony Hibbert ‘v’ Robinho

Hibbert has been out of favour in recent matches, and was tormented by Aston Villa’s Ashley Young in his last match, so fellow defender Jacobsen has been handed the right-back role for the past few games, and if he is named in the starting line-up on Saturday, he will come up against Brazilian (star) Robinho, whose away form this season has been somewhat of a disappointment. Almost non-existent in many games, Robinho still possesses the ability to change a match in an instant, and City will surely look to him for inspiration.

Marouane Fellaini ‘v’ Vincent Kompany

The two Belgian midfielders will come face to face in what will undoubtedly be a bruising encounter. In the probable absence of Zabaleta and de Jong, Kompany will be asked to play in a defensive midfield role, a position which he is more than useful in. Fellaini, a £15 million summer signing, is dangerous in the air, though that is often with his worrying use of his elbows, but has been a revelation in his first season in the Premier League, so City, and Kompany in particular, will have to be on their guard. 

 
Fellaini has something in common with this person, but I don’t know what …

Leon Osman ‘v’ Wayne Bridge

Many City fans still have lingering doubts over Bridge’s ability, but he is certainly better than Javier ‘I Spoke To His Parents’ Garrido. He is willing to get forward, but often struggles defensively due to his lack of aerial ability, and also the failure of Robinho to provide any support. Osman is one of the most underrated players in the league, and will be a major threat to City in this match. 

Verdict: Everton 2 1 Man City

Unfortunately, I feel City’s injuries will hamper their chances of getting a result from this match, and with the home side sure to work harder than my beloved Blues, they will run out victors. Goals to be scored by Valeri Bojinov, Louis Saha and Tim Cahill.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Plattsy

    24 April, 2009 at 20:55

    ‘Felipe ‘Please Jump’ Caicedo’ – that’s just harsh!
    I think it’s the hair that the two pictures have in common…
    Moyes has done a fantastic job at everton, I’d personally much rather have him as manager than Sparky. Everyone seems to be saying he’s going to end up at united though, after Ferguson. That’d be a real shame, as I don’t want to have to hate him.
    Nice preview, I can’t see there being three goals in this fixture though.

  2. MattJonesIsMyHero :-)

    24 April, 2009 at 20:57

    I feel this could be a complete disaster. With our current away form, it could easily be 4, 5 or 6 – 0.

    On a different topic, i thought that anyone in need of a chuckle should watch this video. Watch out for the red circles about 2 minutes in.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QJ6AlakKAI

    It’s really funny!!!

  3. MattJonesIsMyHero :-)

    24 April, 2009 at 21:01

    Sorry, may i correct myself, watch for UN MINUTO DE FURA after 1:39

  4. Steven Goran Erikkson

    24 April, 2009 at 21:14

    Thanks Plattsy, to be honest, I did realise what the common factor was between Nathan and Maroune – what I said in the passage was sarcastic!!

    I agree about Moyes, top manager and would hate for him to follow Taggart to the Swamp.

  5. I*T*P*L

    24 April, 2009 at 21:38

    Good preview again Steven, I like the questioning of whether Robinho can really be classed as a star, and I see you went for the Nathan Brush photo. The way you’ve presented it though, most people will think you’ve just got a photo of a rando curly-headed guy of google.

    The odd error:

    “semi’s” – There shouldn’t be an apostrophe

    “disaster may striker” – obvious

    “Evertonare devoid” – often happens for some reason

    On the whole nicely done as per usual though, from your preview I detect you have the same sense of end of season matches being not worth much to the mid-table sides that I do for Stoke, but if you’d offered me that at the start of the season I’d have taken it quicker than you could say, “Paddy should have waited”!

  6. Steven Goran Erikkson

    24 April, 2009 at 21:44

    Thanks VJ, I noticed the errors as well after I posted, but I couldn’t be bothered changing them, but will do later.

    To be truthful, I am very disappointed with myself for how I have done the photos – the Moyes one looks distorted, the Jo one don;t look good, and the Brush/Fellaini looks poor as you say. I’ve got a better Fellaini look-a-like for the review, which I hope will turn out much better.

    I agree as well with your observation about this game lacking any sort of feeling. It does have the sense of end of season malarky, but while there is still a faint chance of seventh place, I will remain optimistic.

    By the way, I love Pottermouth!

  7. Ched Evans IS MY HERO :) Zabaleta I LOVE YOU :)

    25 April, 2009 at 12:37

    ”Argentinean defender Pablo Zabaleta, who will certainly run Stephen Ireland close for the player of the year trophy”

    – He got my vote 🙂 I hope he wins it to be honest!

    ”Many City fans still have lingering doubts over Bridge’s ability, but he is certainly better than Javier ‘I Spoke To His Parents’ Garrido”

    – Not when Garrido is on form he isn’t…

    Not sure on the Moyes pitcure…few typo’s but other than that it was pleasant to read 🙂

    2-0, Cahill and Osman por favour 🙂

  8. Steven Goran Erikkson

    25 April, 2009 at 12:56

    Not my best article, I’m happy to admit.

    Haha – You have done the same as I always do … “few typo’s but other than that it was pleasant to read” – You have made a typo when trying to criticise my writing 😉

  9. Macheda IS MY HERO

    25 April, 2009 at 17:18

    nice one stevie..finally got time! city finally won away from home and robinho’s back!
    the baz/fellaini comparison is genius! the jo photos are good too showing his improovement!

  10. Steven Goran Erikkson

    25 April, 2009 at 17:50

    Oh Kallumperamabam,

    Where is the comment on the Hamburg review???

  11. Ched Evans IS MY HERO :) Zabaleta I LOVE YOU :)

    26 April, 2009 at 10:53

    ”After a less than convincing victory against bottom of the table West Brom, Mark Hughes’s Manchester City make the short trip to Merseyside”

    – Need more clarity, how short is a piece of string?

    ”semi’s”

    – Typo

    ”Currently, they lie in sixth place in the league, one point behind Aston Villa in the race for fifth spot, so will be pushing for a valuable win.”

    – No need for the comma after ‘Currently’

    ”With the season almost over, and with virtually nothing to play for”

    – Need more clarity, how many games left. 6? 7? 1? and how much can we play for, 7th place? 19 place?

    ”Evertonare devoid”

    – Typo

    ”Whilst at the Blues, Jo couldn’t hit a cow’s backside with a banjo, but since his move to Merseyside, he has been banging in the goals for fun”

    – No need for the 3rd comma

    ”disaster may striker”

    – Typo

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