On Sunday afternoon, when Everton hosts Manchester City at Goodison Park, both Chris Sutton and Paul Merson have foretold that Everton will face a defeat, writes the LiverpoolEcho.
Everton’s recent triumph, a 5-1 victory against Brighton & Hove Albion at Amex Stadium, has surprised many and allowed them to climb out of the Premier League’s relegation zone. However, if Newcastle United loses to Leeds United at Elland Road on Saturday lunchtime, Everton may begin the game with Pep Guardiola’s side in the relegation zone.
Despite having their Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid in mind, City is aware that securing a victory in this match will greatly contribute to solidifying their third consecutive league title.
Merson told Sportskeeda: “Three weeks ago, you’d look at this as an easy fixture for Manchester City. I do expect Manchester City to win it. But Everton were really good against Brighton and I think they played well against Leicester in the 2-2 draw as well.
“This won’t be a straightforward win for Manchester City. Even when they were struggling in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid, they looked capable of scoring goals. That’s why I don’t think Everton are going to get the better of City.
“I don’t think Pep Guardiola can rest his key players for this game and keep them fresh for the second leg against Real Madrid next week. City have to turn up against Everton. I know they’ve got a game to lose but the way the fixtures are going, I think this is a must-win game. Everton 0-2 Manchester City.”
According to BBC Sport, Chris Sutton predicted that City will win the match 2-1. Sutton expressed that the outcome of the game will depend on which Manchester City team shows up. He also expressed concern about the extent to which City might rotate their squad before their upcoming Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid next week.
“Everton boss Sean Dyche played a tactical blinder in his side’s big win at Brighton in the way they sat in, playing very narrow, and then hit them with quick counter-attacks.”