Two sides that got off to winning starts to their Premier League seasons meet at the Etihad Stadium on Monday night.
Pre-season title favourites Man City have seen plenty of change in this transfer window and Pep Guardiola has spent big money.
The former Barcelona coach has completely revamped the full-back area with the Blues allowing Gael Clichy, Aleksandr Kolarov and Pablo Zabaleta to leave the club.
He’s recruited goalkeeper Ederson, Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy, Danilo, Bernardo Silva and Douglas Luiz all for the pricey sum of over £215 million.
This is how they lined up vs Brighton:
Ederson, Kompany, Stones, Otamendi, Walker, Danilo, Fernandinho, de Bruyne, David Silva, Gabriel Jesus, Aguero.
Ahead of their first home fixture they are likely to be without Mendy, who is still getting match fit but Ilkay Gundogan could be back after being sidelined for eight months due to a knee injury.
Not only Man City have spent big money – Everton have too!
The Toffees have spent over £120 million following their record fee of £45 million paid to Swansea for Gylfi Sigurdsson.
The Merseyside club have also acquired goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Davy Klaassen and Sandro Ramirez for fees plus Cuco Martina and Wayne Rooney joined on free transfers.
This is how they lined up vs Stoke City:
Pickford, Jagielka, Williams, Keane, Calvert-Lewin, Baines, Gueye, Schneiderlin, Klaassen, Rooney, Sandro Ramirez.
You expect Ronald Koeman’s men to be much better prepared coming here because they have already played four competitive games with three of them being in the Europa League.
That Europa League qualifying has seen them win a two-legged tie against Ruzomberok while they beat Hajduk Split 2-0 on Thursday.
Sandro Ramirez missed that game at Goodison Park four days ago due to a heel problem and he’ll be assessed before kick-off to see whether he can take part.
Man City scored 80 goals in the Premier League last season, which was the third most. However the worry was always their defence and this new three at the back system should get a proper test this evening.
The Citizens won only two of their 12 games against other top-seven sides last year, so if they want to be serious contenders that stat needs to change.
The two meetings last season saw a 1-1 draw here at the Etihad when Marten Stekelenburg saved two penalties while the reverse fixture at Goodison saw Everton thump them 4-0, scoring with all four shots on target.
Since 2010/11 the 14 Premier League meetings between these teams have seen 33 goals, at an average of 2.36 per game.
Of those 14 matches there have been five Man City wins, four draws and five Everton victories.
The Toffees won the most recent meeting and a win here would be their first back to back success against City since 2011.
Wayne Rooney got off the mark on his second debut against Stoke with a header last weekend and a goal for him here would see him become the second player to bag 200 Premier League goals.
The 31 year old has a scored eight goals against Man City - only Alan Shearer (11) has scored more goals. He’s 9/2 with Unibet to score here.
In contrast, Sergio Aguero has somewhat of a drought against Everton with the Argentinian failing to score in his last six Premier League matches when facing them but a goal tonight would end that plus it’d make him the high score non-European goalscorer in the 25 seasons of the competition.
Man City are expected to win but 1/3 is far too short against a side they failed to beat last season. The draw is 5/1 with Everton at 11/1.
For me the corners market is one that should be played in this match. Man City took the most corners with 280 last season, at an average of 7.37 while Everton took 196 with an average of 5.16.
Man City’s win at Brighton saw 13 corners with Guardiola’s men taking 10 while Everton’s game versus Stoke also had 13 corners but they only took six.
The last four meetings in all competitions at the Etihad have seen 18, 17, 11 & 14, so do look at the overs on the corners markets plus the lines are worth watching in-play too.
I would be taking a look at the ‘Corners Race’ market however Man City are 1/6 Race to 5 and 2/5 Race to 7, something they should achieve.
If you want to put corners and goals together then William Hill’s ‘Goals x Corners’ market is worth a look with Over 2.5 Goals & Over 12 Corners (11/4).
A new market has opened up ‘Anytime Assist’ with Betfair and Sky Bet. David Silva got the assist for Aguero’s goal at Brighton and his neat, intricate passing around the penalty area always causes teams problems, so the 2/1 on that looks well worth a play.
Bobby Madley is the referee and last season he averaged 4.3 cards per game. He showed four yellows and a red in the Community Shield plus he showed four yellows in his opening Premier League game.
These aren’t two physical sides but it’s a case of Everton possibly trying to stop Man City finding a rhythm to their passing plus the odd cynical foul, so 4-6 cards would be of interest.
However more interestingly Madley took charge of four Man City games last season and he awarded four penalties – three to them plus the Riyad Mahrez one.
Last season he pointed to the spot 12 times in total, so A Penalty in the Match (5/2 – Betfair) does appeal because he does point to the spot often enough plus there’s a chance he that Man City’s quick tempo football around the box causes the likes of Williams and Jagielka problems, which sees them committing a foul inside the 18-yard box.
There is plenty to take into account tonight and those are some of the options to consider before the Monday Night Football offering.
Over 2.5 Goals & Over 12 Corners (11/4 – William Hill) is something I like the look of, as is the price on a David Silva assist.
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