On Monday evening, Manchester City welcome Ronald Koeman’s Everton side to the Etihad in what promises to be a very interesting affair.
Pep Guardiola’s side, who many believe are favourites to clinch the Premier League title, will have to be on top form to beat a revitalized Toffees side.
The big news coming into the game is the arrival of Gylfi Sigurdsson at the Merseyside outfit, with manager Ronald Koeman no doubt desperate to get the £45 million man on the pitch and making an impact for his new club.
Man City have looked far from convincing in their initial games of the new season. Many expected an emphatic victory at newly promoted Brighton. However, the Sky Blues failed to make a breakthrough till the 70th minute, before an own goal sealed a 2-0 win for Guardiola’s side.
They also suffered a very disappointing 1-0 defeat to Spanish side Girona in a friendly. A side featuring stars such as Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva and wingers Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling failed to score against the La Liga club – something which will surely be of concern to their Spanish manager.
As for Everton, a cagey opening-day fixture against Stoke saw the Toffees come out on top via a Wayne Rooney goal, a strike the player will cherish on a return to his boyhood club.
Koeman’s side will have also gained confidence from their Europa League victory against Croatian side Hajduk Split.
The Dutch manager didn’t let his players get distracted by the antics and trouble in the stands and his team came out on top with a 2-0 win.
Pep Guardiola has the unenviable task of fitting a host of attacking talents into a limited number of positions. Defensively, Benjamin Mendy has finally been able to train with his team mates this week but is unlikely to feature here.
The same goes for Ilkay Gundogan, who made a return to the Manchester City side in their friendly against Girona but will not be ready to feature here.
The big news coming into the game for Everton is the arrival of Gylfi Sigurdsson, and he will likely make his debut at the Etihad on Monday.
The Toffees were dealt some bad news recently, however, as Ross Barkley joins a lengthy injury list. The forward is expected to require surgery for a hamstring injury.
Score prediction: Manchester City 3-2 Everton
Expect goals. The two line-ups are full of attacking players and it seems both teams will be going for the throat. Manchester City’s offensive power out-weighs their opponents and they should just come out on top. Sergio Aguero could prove to be the difference.