Premier League leaders Manchester City look to hold onto outright top spot with a win at Goodison Park against Everton. David Moyes’ side will be looking to halt their slide in form and a win could see them move into the top half of the table, if other results go their way.
Everton still have five injury worries to contend with as well as Ross Barkley’s recovery from a knee problem. Phil Jagielka, Sylvain Distin, Seamus Coleman, Jack Rodwell and Leon Osman are all unavailable for Moyes against City. The Toffees have won just one game in their last six in the league and have struggled at home all season. A disappointing 1-1 draw with Blackburn at Goodison Park in their last league game left fans frustrated, but they would have been delighted to overcome Fulham in the FA Cup on Friday night. Rangers striker Nikica Jelavic could be in attendance ahead of tonight’s game as he is on Merseyside to complete a medical with Everton. Toffees striker Louis Saha is on the verge of a loan deal to Tottenham which may see former Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar return to Goodison Park a year after he left for North London.
City are making moves to sign Roma midfielder David Pizarro on loan until the end of the season, but their main business has been out of the club. Wayne Bridge was never going to be in Roberto Mancini’s plans for tonight’s game at Goodison Park and he has joined Sunderland on loan. City welcome back captain Vincent Kompany after a four match ban, but are still missing Mario Balotelli through suspension as well as Yaya and Kolo Toure on African Cup of Nations duty. Mancini’s side beat Tottenham 3-2 in the dying minutes thanks to Balotelli’s penalty and have a three point lead at the top of the Premier League table. Cup disappointment against Liverpool deprived Mancini the chance of going back to Wembley for the fourth time in less than a year and he will be hoping that the club’s fortunes on Merseyside change against Everton.
The favourites for the game are City, but they are missing Yaya Toure in the centre of their midfield and that has shown in their previous game. Everton fans will be hoping their side can compete and maybe get a victory, but City should have the class to see the game through and keep their lead at three points or extend it depending on how Manchester United do against Stoke City at Old Trafford.
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