Everton vs Manchester City

Reigning Premier League holders Manchester City head to Goodison Park to take on bottom-half Everton in their penultimate game of 2023.

Everton’s outstanding streak of four straight Premier League wins ended abruptly last weekend as they slumped to a 2-1 defeat at Tottenham despite racking up a higher xG rate than their hosts. Despite a morale-crushing ten-point deduction in November, the ‘Toffees’ start this round a point clear of the drop zone, testifying to Sean Dyche’s impressive managerial work at Goodison, where his men have won their last two league outings by 2+ goals ‘to nil.’ Keen to make it three top-flight home victories on the spin for the first time since a run of four in September 2021, Everton take on a Manchester City side they’ve lost to across their last six Premier League H2Hs at home, alarmingly conceding three goals on four occasions.

Dyche’s long-standing struggles against Pep Guardiola can inspire more confidence in the Manchester City camp after winning the Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia last weekend. Guardiola has beaten his Everton counterpart in 15 of their 16 managerial H2Hs (D1), scoring 49 goals and conceding just six in return. Another high-scoring contest is on the cards, given Man City ousted Urawa Reds 3-0 in the Club World Cup semi-final before demolishing Fluminense 4-0 in the grand final. However, the three-time consecutive Premier League champions can’t take anything for granted as they head into proceedings amid a patchy six-game league form (W1, D4, L1). After only winning once in six top-flight fixtures for the first time since March 2016, the ‘Citizens’ can consider themselves lucky for trailing top-table Liverpool by only eight points, with two games in hand.

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