Premier League leaders Manchester City will be looking to return to winning ways when they face Frank Lampard‘s Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday evening.
The Toffees, meanwhile, are also hoping to bounce back with a victory and could move five points clear of the relegation zone if they were to cause an upset against the Citizens.
After securing a comfortable 3-0 victory at home against Leeds United, recording 10 shots on target, Everton suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat away at Southampton last weekend, in a game in which they failed to register a single shot on target.
Second-half strikes from Stuart Armstrong and Shane Long condemned the Toffees to their 13th league defeat of the season; 12 of those have come in their last 16 games in the division.
Frank Lampard – who made 38 appearances for Man City between 2014 and 2015 – has had a mixed start to life as Everton manager, winning both games at Goodison Park but losing both away matches, and following Burnley’s surprise win against Tottenham Hotspur in midweek, he now sees his team sitting just two points above the relegation zone.
With an FA Cup fifth-round tie against Boreham Wood and then four successive league fixtures against Spurs, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Newcastle United, and Watford soon to come, Everton will need to find their form quickly if they are to resurrect what they can from a disappointing season, though success on Saturday is unlikely.
A stoppage-time penalty kick converted by Riyad Mahrez appeared to have rescued a point for the Citizens, but Kane managed to head home a dramatic 95th-minute winner to secure all three points for the visitors and end City’s 15-game unbeaten league run.
The city will be confident of bouncing back with a victory on Saturday, as they aim to head into three successive fixtures in three different competitions – against Peterborough United (FA Cup), Manchester United (Premier League), and Sporting Lisbon (Champions League) – on a positive note.
Everton Premier League form:
Everton form (all competitions):
Manchester City Premier League form:
Manchester City form (all competitions):
Everton is sweating over the fitness of winger Demarai Gray, who is currently doubtful with a hip injury which he sustained against Newcastle earlier this month.
Lampard will, however, be without Yerry Mina (thigh), Ben Godfrey (hamstring), Abdoulaye Doucoure (groin), Fabian Delph (thigh), and Tom Davies (thigh) due to injury.
Despite failing to impress in front of goal last weekend, Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are set to retain their places in attack while Anthony Gordon is expected to start on the left side of midfield, with either Andros Townsend, Alex Iwobi, or Anwar El Ghazi to operate on the opposite flank.
As for Man City, Jack Grealish, Gabriel Jesus and Cole Palmer are all doubtful with injuries and will be assessed ahead of kickoff.
Also, Guardiola is unlikely to make too many changes to his starting lineup; however, if Riyad Mahrez is recalled then Ilkay Gundogan could drop out, which would likely see Bernardo Silva move into the midfield three alongside Rodri and Kevin De Bruyne.
Everton’s possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Coleman, Holgate, Keane, Kenny; Townsend, Allan, Van de Beek, Gray; Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Manchester City’s possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo; De Bruyne, Rodri, Bernardo; Mahrez, Foden, Sterling