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Everton v Manchester City – Match Preview
Everton face Manchester City at Goodison Park on Wednesday evening in the first of leg of their Capital One League Cup semi-final, with both sides fighting for the right to face Liverpool or Stoke in the Wembley final.
Everton go into Wednesday’s match on the back of a 1-1 home draw against Tottenham at the weekend. They have struggled for league form at home so far this season, winning only three out 11 matches and only two out of their last league matches have ended in victory – both away from Goodison. Everton manager Roberto Martinez has already confirmed that Joel Robles will replace Tim Howard in goal for Wednesday’s match and although defender and club captain Phil Jagielka and midfielder Steven Pienaar are fit on their return from injury, neither are likely to be risked. Everton will look to their in-form striker Romelu Lukaku to provide the attacking threat against City, with the Belgian having scored 15 league goals and five assists this season.
Manchester City are currently still involved in all four competitions they started the season in and in all likelihood the League Cup is bottom of the agenda. However, City manager Manuel Pellegrini will know that it also offers City the easiest chance of silverware this season and having won the trophy in 2014, his first trophy with the club, Pellegrini will be aiming for a strong performance in Wednesday’s match. Pellegrini has confirmed that striker Wilfried Bony will miss the match, meaning that Sergio Aguero is likely to lead the City attacking line, the Argentine striker having scored against Watford on Saturday. Long term absentees Vincent Kompany and Samir Nasri will again be missing. City have struggled for form in December but two wins and a draw over the festive period means they sit just three points behind league leaders Arsenal. Victory at Watford on Saturday was their first away win in the league since September and it was a gritty performance to come from a goal down to win 2-1. A repeat of that performance should see City take the spoils on Wednesday.
Manchester City have won the League Cup on three previous occasions, most recently two seasons ago in 2014, while Everton have never won the trophy, losing in the final twice so far. The sides have met twice before in the competition, with City winning 2-0 in 1969 and Everton gaining revenge in 1988 by the same score line.
City have won four out of the last five meetings between the sides, most recently back in August when goals from Kolarov and Samir Nasir ensured a 2-0 victory. With this strong record and Everton’s poor current home form it may well pay to side with City as they look to take a first-leg lead back to the Etihad.
Manchester City are the favourites for the match at 2.05 (21/20) with Everton available at 3.8 (14/5) and the draw at 3.8 (14/5). The football betting tip for the Everton versus Manchester City match is Manchester City at 2.05 (21/20).
By: Scott McGlynn