Well now. Looks like we’ve got a title race on our hands. Again.
The reigning champions Manchester City could go from seven points behind Liverpool on Boxing Day, to top of the Premier League (on goal difference) if they beat Everton on Wednesday night.
There’s a school of thought that the Toffees may ‘gift’ three points to the visitors to further dent Liverpool’s title hopes. But all the evidence points to the red side of Merseyside messing up their title hopes just fine by themselves.
And anyway, Everton are in no position to be gifting anyone three points. We’ll take it that they’re up for this clash, big time.
After Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with West Ham last night, City scent blood.
The last two meetings between the sides have ended with 3-1 victories for Pep Guardiola’s team and what wouldn’t they give for the same now?
City have only failed to score on the road twice this season, (2-0 at Chelsea and 0-0 at Liverpool), while Everton have only failed to score once this season at home. That was in the 0-1 defeat to Leicester last month, so they’re capable of nicking a goal at least.
Both teams to score, looks the play for the neutral. If there are any!
City have been involved in games that involved at least three goals in 13 of their last 15 matches. The last one that didn’t ironically, that was the dead rubber, second-leg tie against Burton Albion, that they won 0-1. Before that it was the 1-1 draw (90 mins) with Leicester in the League Cup.
And just as everyone was thinking that City had recovered from their December wobble, they suffered a massive brain fart when losing 2-1 at Newcastle last week, before Sunday’s 3-1 victory over Arsenal got them back on track.
Everton have also seen plenty of goal action, generally at their expense. They’ve lost three of their last four home games (Spurs, Leicester and Wolves) and can now either capitulate or grow a pair and come out all guns blazing on Wednesday night.
We’re banking on the latter and over 2.5 goals if both teams go at it from the start.
Sergio Aguero is just one hat-trick off Alan Shearer’s record of 11 hat-tricks in the Premier League and is City’s top scorer with 14 Premier League strikes this season, 20 in all competitions.
However, the market hasn’t missed Aguero and Gabriel Jesus to score at anytime over the 90 minutes, as both are odds on.
So that leaves Raheem Sterling as a bit of value to get among the goals. He’s scored three goals in three league fixtures for the Citizens against the Toffees and is 6/4 to do the same on Wednesday.