PREVIEW: City vs Everton

Robert Toole

City versus Everton, Saturday 1st December 2012, 3pm, Etihad Stadium, Manchester.

Tickets: Sold Out

Last Season: City 2-0 Everton

Referee: Lee Probert

Team News

City – James Milner misses out with the hamstring injury he suffered shortly after scoring against Wigan in midweek. Jack Rodwell (hamstring), Gael Clichy (ankle) and Micah Richards (knee) are still out.

Everton – Leighton Baines, who hurt his hamstring against Arsenal, is a doubt. Nikica Jelavic has been suffering with illness and will also be assessed.

Stats 

Yaya Toure has completed a staggering 1052 of his attempted 1173 passes (90%) this season in the Premier League.

City have allowed their opponents just 34 shots on target against them, fewer than any other team in the Premier League.

Gareth Barry was City’s hardest working player and covered 6.85 miles, half a mile more than David Silva in second against Wigan. Wednesday’s match was the fourth in a row in which Barry has achieved this feat.

City are now the only team in the entire football league not to have lost this season, and will be aiming to repeat Arsenal’s legendary ‘invincible’ 2003-04 record of zero defeats.

Marouane Fellaini marked his return to the Everton line-up with a goal against Arsenal, and is in the league’s top ten most threatening players- the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that the Belgian has shot on target once every 45.8 minutes on average.

Fellaini continues to sit atop the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for defensive misdemeanor though, having been pulled up for a foul 32 times so far this season.

Tim Howard’s statistical record is not far off Joe Hart’s, he’s saved 75.7 percent of the 74 shots on target he’s faced compared to Hart’s 79.6 percent from 49.

Press Conference

Roberto Mancini returned for his usual pre-match press conference yesterday after David Platt took the responsibility ahead of the Wigan match. Mancini highlighted the importance of Mario Balotelli’s goal at Wigan and also expects a hard game against Everton.

Mancini said:

It is important for him (Balotelli) because he scored his first goal, it’s important because he scored an important goal in a difficult moment and now I hope that he can continue to score.

I think Everton is difficult for every team, for us, for Manchester United, for Chelsea, I think because every game they play against a top squad they play very, very well. Every match we play against them we have a problem, I think tomorrow will be the same. You only beat them if you play a fantastic game, they always play 100%.

See the full press conference via the videos below.

Inside the Opposition

This week’s Inside the Opposition is with Everton fan Darren Turley. It’s a fascinating read. We talk Moyes, Kenwright, Mirallas and Joe Hart.

Fixtures:

All matches kick off at 3pm unless stated

Saturday

West Ham v Chelsea (12.45pm)

Arsenal v Swansea

Fulham v Tottenham

Liverpool v Southampton

QPR v Aston Villa

West Brom v Stoke

Reading v Man Utd (5.30pm)

Sunday

Norwich v Sunderland (4pm)

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