Manchester City will resume their EPL schedule today as they host Everton at the Etihad Stadium after two weeks off due to World Cup qualifiers. The Citizens will look to get back on the winning trail after defeat by Tottenham Hotspur in October, which ended their undefeated start to the season.
Pep Guardiola‘s squad will welcome Everton to the Etihad today, who have been a nice surprise under new manager Ronald Koeman. Everton currently sit in fifth place with 14 points and a 4-2-1 record so far this season. In their last match before the international break, Everton drew 1-1 against Crystal Palace.
Manchester City should be refreshed and ready to go after time off from league and European play. Several members however could be jet-lagged after World Cup Qualifiers with their respective nations this past week.
Kevin De Bruyne, Vincent Kompany, and most recently Bacary Sagna will not be available due to injuries. Sagna, suffered a torn hamstring in France’s 4-1 World Cup qualifier victory against Bulgaria and is expected to be out a month.
Pep Guardiola needs to put out a strong squad today to get the chemistry of the team back together following the layoff. Everton will look to upset the Citizens at home, while Manchester City will look to stay in the top spot in the league with all three points
Sergio Aguero has a been a scoring machine for City so far this season, and there is no reason why he doesn’t start-up top. Kelechi Iheanacho provides depth on the bench, but seems to be better used as a sub rather than starting next to the Argentine.
Everton will provide a tough test for Manchester City, especially with the attacking weapons they have of their own. However, to be the best you have to beat the best and Manchester City need to get back to winning ways after the Tottenham slip-up.
Meanwhile, ahead of today’s clash, Everton manager Ronald Koeman has revealed how he helped teach a young Pep Guardiola during their time together at Barcelona.
“Then-Barcelona boss, Johan Cruyff had seen this young player in the academy, seen him develop into a decent player in the reserves and he thought the time was there to draft him into the first-team squad,” Koeman was quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror.
“According to Cruyff this boy was very bright, he had a quick brain and he needed a more experienced player to look after him. I told him it was fine to have him as my new roommate.
“If the player was a talent and a good kid, I would help him. So he told me that from now on I was going to look after a boy called Pep. He told me I was going to be his tutor, help him develop and make sure he learns the Dutch style of playing. I then spent several years with Pep in hotel rooms before every game, every trip — in preseason, in Europe, you name it.
“Pep was a fantastic guy. He was eager to learn, he wanted to know everything. Pep wanted to know about the Dutch school of football. More than any other player he wanted to know about one-touch football, about positional play, one touch in small spaces. He loved the way Cruyff wanted to play with Barcelona.
“But what struck me with Pep was that he was a very ordinary, down-to-earth guy. He never had arrogant streaks. He did not behave like a star because he was playing for Barcelona — he was driving a second-hand Golf when he came in the squad and after three years in the first team, he was still driving the same car.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea FC will look forward to picking up yet another win against the reigning champions, Leicester City today at Stamford Bridge. The Blues have had a topsy-turvy start to their season under new manager Antonio Conte. After winning the first couple of matches, Conte’s men went winless in three consecutive matches conceding defeat in two.
Leicester’s title defending season has been horrible so far as they have managed to win just two matches. They lost three and drew two and are currently placed in the 12th position. It will slowly become difficult for the foxes if they fail to get at least a point against Antonio Conte’s side on Saturday afternoon.
Chelsea are all set to welcome their captain John Terry back, as the veteran English defender makes a comeback into the side after an injury. Though, Terry will be back it is unlikely Conte would change his winning combination.
Victor Moses, who had a brilliant match against Hull City last week, picked up an injury during the international break is expected to make a comeback.
Claudio Ranieri is likely to keep his starting XI unchanged from the game against Southampton.