Match Preview| Manchester City (A)

Things are going well for the Toffees right now. In fact, I’d say most clubs would want to avoid Everton in there up and coming fixtures. There are exceptions though and I’d say Manchester City on Monday night is one. Much to the annoyance of Scousers far and wide, whether Blue or Red, Manchester looks yet again like this seasons hotbed of Football, with the title seemingly destined to land there come May. United have been rampant so far and City look impressive. They have spent well over £220m on repairing their leaky Defence in the summer with the likes of Benjamin Mendy, Kyle Walker and Danilo being brought in. They’ve also added to an Artillery of attacking options by bringing in the highly sought after Bernardo Silva from Monaco. It’s fair to say they are most likely favourites for the league title this season and will fancy their chances against any opposition at the Etihad.

Everton’s 2-1 win at the Etihad in 2010 was the last time Everton won there. Cahill and Baines scored the goals

A decade ago Everton were very much a bogey side for Manchester City, specifically away from home, winning what seemed like every year there. In recent times though City have shook that monkey of their back and are now currently unbeaten in their last six league meetings at home against the Blues. In fact, the Toffees last win was way back in 2010 when Leighton Baines and Tim Cahill scored in a 2-1 victory. Everton of course picked up maybe the highlight moment of their campaign last season, when they dismantled City 4-0 at Goodison and in doing so, handed former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola his biggest league defeat as manager in his career. We also got to watch John Stones return following his big money move. Whilst he was counting Everton goals, the Everton board were counting that £49m for the 100th time, laughing their tits off still wondering what happened there.

It wouldn’t be unreasonable to be happy with a draw on Monday night given the task at hand. But why not push for all three points? A terrible recent record and indeed years of mediocracy has created a defeatist attitude amongst all Evertonians. It’s engrained into the Psychological core of the club and has become a cancer in recent times. It’s what has separated us from the teams above us. To be frank, if the club wishes to compete within the top six, they must start picking up wins against the top six. No fear…go into these games and play to win! I felt myself going all William Wallace from Braveheart there! So, let’s reel it in before I start painting my face blue and running around screaming ‘Freedommm’ wrapped up in the living room curtains. Anyway, a good away record this season is vital. Everton’s away record was terrible last season, especially against the top six (D2, L4). Everton haven’t won an away game since 21st January against Crystal Palace. This is something Koeman and co will know they must improve this season if they are to be taken seriously as top six contenders.

Gylfi Sigurdsson is set to get some minutes tonight

There’s no new injuries to the squad so expect Everton to go with the strongest squad they have available. Sandro Ramirez could return having missed the Hajduk Split game with a slight foot injury. It may be a little too soon to hand a start to Gyfli Sigurdsson with his lack of game time recently, but Koeman has eluded to the fact he expects the Icelandic playmaker to make his debut at some point Monday night.

Rooney is one goal away from being only the second player to score 200 premier league goals, it seems fitting that the former United man will get his 200th goal at the ground of his former rivals surely? I mean, they still fucking hate him, so expect plenty of boos and jeers every time he touches the ball. The last thing you want to give this new and hungry Wayne Rooney, is more motivation to score. If Everton can continue to keep the doors firmly shut at the other end of the pitch, then Everton might just kick start their travels this season with a massive win! Come on you blues!

– David (@DAHughes92)