Barely hanging on to top-flight status, relegation-battling Everton welcome Premier League champions and title-chasing Manchester City to Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon.
The Toffees climbed out of the relegation zone with an emphatic 5-1 victory over European hopefuls Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend.
They now sit one place and two points above 18th-placed Leicester City in the Premier League, and Sean Dyche will hope his side can rally to another upset in this weekend’s encounter.
The Everton boss has already called on the Toffees faithful to make Goodison Park a hostile ground to the rampant Man City, who enter the clash on the back of ten league wins in a row.
Pep Guardiola’s side fought out a 1-1 draw against Real Madrid in their Champions League semi-final first-leg clash, keeping their hopes of a famous treble alive.
Before hosting the title holders at Etihad Stadium next week, they will look to consolidate their spot at the top of the Premier League table with a win on Merseyside.
Despite holding out hope that his side can muster a positive result against the rampant league leaders, the odds are firmly stacked against Dyche’s struggling Toffees ahead of Sunday’s clash.
Everton have won just one of their last 19 league meetings with Man City (D5, L13) – a run that stretches back to January 2017, and solid performance is a bare minimum should they wish to beat the odds.
Former manager Frank Lampard led the Toffees to a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture at the Etihad Stadium, but not since the 2016/17 campaign have they faced the Cityzens twice in a single season without suffering defeat.
Everton have won just four of their 46 league games against teams starting the day top of the table, but Dyche is no stranger to pulling off the impossible, having stunned Arsenal in his debut match.
Man City have won their last five away games against Everton, and another on Sunday will see them become only the second side to beat the Toffees in Merseyside six times in a row after Portsmouth between 1948 and 1956.
Guardiola boasts a near-perfect record against Dyche in the league, having won 11 of his last 12 meetings with the English manager (D1), and will be keen to extend that record.
The Cityzens have won their last ten league games in a row and have not tasted defeat since falling to Tottenham Hotspur in February.
The odds are firmly in their favour against a lowly Everton side, but Man City will be naive to underestimate the Toffees, who are fighting to retain Premier League status.
Premier League Form
Manchester City: WWWWW
Everton vs Manchester City Potential Line-ups
Everton (4-5-1): Jordan Pickford; Nathan Patterson, James Tarkowski, Yerry Mina, Vitaly Mykolenko; Alex Iwobi, James Garner, Idrissa Gueye, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Dwight McNeil; Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Manchester City (3-4-2-1): Ederson; Manuel Akanji, Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte; Kalvin Phillips, Rodri; Riyad Mahrez, Julian Alvarez, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish; Erling Braut Haaland.
We Say: Everton 0-2 Manchester City
Guardiola is expected to shuffle his pack with a mouthwatering tie decider against the reigning European champions on the horizon.
However, even a ‘weakened’ Man City line-up should have no problems swatting aside Everton to keep title rivals Arsenal at bay.
Watch Premier League Games Live
All Premier League games can be streamed live online, even if they are not on live TV in the UK – see our Premier League live streaming page for more information.
- Leicester City release seven players following drop into Championship
- AC Milan reject €60 million from Chelsea for Mike Maignan
- Nacho close to Madrid contract renewal in blow to Inter Milan
- Chelsea sign teenage star Kendry Paez
- Leicester want at least £40m for Arsenal, Tottenham and Newcastle target James Maddison