City Look To Stop The Rot

Image courtesy of Getty Images
Sergio Aguero scored a brace against Manchester United last month. Image courtesy of Getty Images
Manchester City  will be looking to avoid a third consecutive defeat when it hosts Everton  at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night (AEST). Since thumping Wigan 5-0 in the League Cup just two days after an epic 4-1  derby triumph over Manchester United last month, Manuel Pellegrini’s men have failed to fire, with the pain of a 3-2 defeat to Aston Villa last Saturday compounded by a 3-1 loss at home to German champions Bayern Munich during the week.

England goalkeeper Joe Hart is coming under increasing pressure to retain his place for City after a string of below par performances and could make way for Romanian Costel Pantilimon after being responsible for two of the goals that his side conceded against Bayern. Sergio Aguero  returned from injury against the German club and is likely to retain his place in the side, while David Silva  could also start after returning on the bench in the Champions League. Joleon Lescott could also earn a recall at the centre of the defence with the Citizens conceding six goals in two matches that he has watched from the sidelines.

Many suggested that Everton would struggle when David Moyes left the club to join Manchester United but new boss Roberto Martinez could hardly have made a better start to his tenure on Merseyside, with his side unbeaten in six league fixtures during the current campaign. Wins over Newcastle, West Ham and Chelsea have seen the Toffees climb to fourth on the table, with on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku  and England international Leighton Baines starring for the club. Darron Gibson could return from injury after coming through 70 minutes against Fulham in the League Cup last week.

Prior to Thursday’s defeat to Bayern Munich, the Citizens were unbeaten at home in the 2013/14 season, conceding just one goal in four matches at Etihad Stadium. Everton has a win and two draws  from three fixtures away from Goodison Park in the League during the current campaign and went home with a point in the corresponding fixture here last season when it finished 1-1  at the end of 90 minutes.

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