Man City V Everton at Etihad Stadium : Match Preview

By
14 October 2016
Man City V Everton - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


City boss Pep Guardiola focused on Everton as Barcelona clash looms

Pep Guardiola insists next week's trip to Barcelona will not cloud his thinking for Manchester City's clash with Everton on Saturday.

The City boss is certain to be the main focus of attention ahead of City's Champions League outing at the Nou Camp on Wednesday having enjoyed enormous success during his time in charge of the Catalan giants.

That game will also gauge City's progress under Guardiola this term but, for now, Premier League matters are the main concern.

Asked where his priorities lay ahead of a spell of seven games in 21 days, Guardiola said at a press conference: "I never prioritise. Of course when we play League Cup it's a little bit different but for the other competitions the next one is the most important game.

"I'm going to see how the internationals are physically, their mentality, their mental approach. Some of the players recover quickly, others need more time.

"Tomorrow is the most important game. I don't know what's going to happen against Everton so the best approach for the next one is to win tomorrow."

Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne, two players who have flourished so far this term, both appear to be winning their fitness battles to feature.

Guardiola, however, was vague when asked about the progress of his injured players, including captain Vincent Kompany.

He said: "They are much, much, much, much better. Some will play tomorrow, some won't. They trained in the last two or three days, but I don't know how many minutes they can do. We'll have to think about it in the morning."

The visit of Everton pits Guardiola against his former Barcelona team-mate Ronald Koeman for the first time in his managerial career.

The pair, both members of Barca's 1992 European Cup-winning side, have a long friendship dating back to when they roomed together as players.

Guardiola said: "I think he was one of the first central defenders with the quality not just to defend. He was one of the few guys that I never saw fall in important games - he always played well. He was by far one of the best central defenders I've ever met."

Forwards Raheem Sterling (calf) and Kevin De Bruyne (hamstring) could come into contention. Both trained this week and are close to making a return while captain Vincent Kompany (groin) could also feature in the near future.

Midfielder Fabian Delph could also be back in consideration after a knock but right-back Bacary Sagna is out until next month with a hamstring injury sustained on international duty.

Koeman has called on his "key players" to start producing and believes there is no better time than against City.

After an impressive start to the season, taking 13 points from a possible 15, the Toffees' form has dipped with a 2-0 EFL Cup exit to Championship side Norwich followed by defeat at Bournemouth and a home draw with Crystal Palace.

There has been a lot of focus on Ross Barkley's contribution to the side so far this season and, while Koeman did not specifically single him out, he made it clear there is a core group within his starting XI he expects to lead the rest of the side.

"We have some key players in the team and they need to bring productivity to the team and we can improve on that," said the Dutchman ahead of the trip to the Etihad Stadium.

"We know we can be better than we are at the moment.

"Of course, the last two or three results, including the cup game, were not what we expect but we know we are Everton and we don't win every game.

"We are in a good way but we know we can be better than we are at the moment.

"It is difficult because we did not have the players for training the last two weeks and it's always difficult to have that focus that you need to beat City.

"But we know we have to be at our best and not make mistakes and make a fight for the game on Saturday and then you get opportunities to score."

On the plus side, Everton have the second-best defence in the league and only once, in 1998/99, have they conceded as few as five goals in their opening seven Premier League games.

Everton have striker Romelu Lukaku and defenders Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines fit.

Lukaku has recovered from a thigh injury while Jagielka, who pulled out of England's squad with a similar problem, and Baines, who missed the last two matches with a hamstring strain, are also ready for action.

Midfielder Darron Gibson (groin) is fit again but winger Aaron Lennon is a doubt with a minor knock, while a late decision will be taken on James McCarthy (groin).


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