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Let the game commence!

So, a huge game tonight against the nouveau riche upstarts from Eastlands. The game will go ahead despite temperatures dropping to -15C in Manchester overnight. Will we see the first Everton snood (or have we done that already)?

How is David Moyes going to approach this match? Will he come up with something different on the pitch, or will the same gameplan be employed, since it has been working a little better away from home, despite producing only one win so far?

In his pre-match conference he seems to have conceded a lot of ground already, and does not give the strong impression that he has the confidence and inspiration needed to see an Everton victory.

But the incredible contingent of fans who follow Everton to every away game and provide such tremendous support will be shouting for them of course and getting right behind the boys in... pink.

And the eyes of the football-mad nation largely starved of action so far this weekend will be on them tonight ? along with that worldwide TV audience which helps to pay the grossly obscene wages these stars receive.

Let the game commence!
Michael Kenrick     Posted 20/12/2010 at

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Reader Comments

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Tom Bowers
1   Posted 20/12/2010 at 13:42:37

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With the attack stuttering, it would appear that we cannot win at City. However, it is Xmas and we may get a gift as it is a fixture we have done well in over the years. Having said that, without Arteta and Pienaar we may struggle and they are long overdue for a result against the Blues ?plus their current run of good form.

Might be a good time to play Yaks and Becks up front to try and catch them on the break as I am sure Moyes will mount a rearguard action to aim for the draw.

Fran Mitchell
2   Posted 20/12/2010 at 14:51:22

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Havn't watched a game since Sunderland, and have been largely disinterested in this season since it became obvious of the path it was taking. I will however be watching this game tonight... I am mildly confident, yet maybe that is helped by not having watched Everton much this season.

Defeat and I think I shall be firmly sat in the Moyes Out/Kenwright Out (always been in the latter) camp.

Can't say too much in terms of who I think should play etc, as I am relying on what I have read to give me a jist of player form, but if Heitinga is in midfield or Saha up-front, I shall be lost for words... When I last watched Everton I thought the Yak was getting into form, then he is dropped???
Chris Keightley
3   Posted 20/12/2010 at 14:58:32

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I can't see beyond a comprehensive defeat by 3-0. We are such a poor side, only a real relegation scrap will remove the current hierarchy. After tonight it really will be a fight to stay up.
Shaun Brennan
4   Posted 20/12/2010 at 15:02:19

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I pretty much see this as a crunch game for Moyes. He's taken a lot of stick in cyber space recently (deservedly). So now he has to stick his neck out a bit and set up to win a game. But with Pienaar out will he be tempted to throw Osman in the deep end.

Heaven forbid ? I'd love us to start with two strikers but if that?s not the case I'd like see Bily given a start. He too has a lot to prove and tonight could be the game to give himself a little bit of encouragemnt.

Anyway, Merry Christmas to you all!
Jimmy Hacking
5   Posted 20/12/2010 at 15:04:57

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I predict a 1-0 win, Cahill header from a Baines cross (pushing the boat out, I know!). We have nothing to fear, we took the piss there last year.

We need Fellaini to have a good game, Man City can't seem to cope with him, and to be solid at the back. I know a few City fans, and they all seem to regard Cahill as some sort of bogeyman, which bodes well...

I haven't mentioned the "strikeforce" since it will probably be Saha... but who needs strikers, eh? COME ON THE LADS
Declan O'Shaughnessy
6   Posted 20/12/2010 at 15:25:19

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I think I've rarely looked forward to an Everton game with such little enthusiasm (at least since the Walter days).

My predictions? Crap game, crap performance, 1-0 or 2-0 to Citteh. In other words, much the same as what's preceeded it so far this season.
Stephen Kenny
7   Posted 20/12/2010 at 15:30:29

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This is one of the few games I would advocate a 4-5-1. City are very strong in midfield and have pace all over their side. I really hope Johnson doersn't play down their right. We are weak defensively down our left hand side.

I think it's time the Yak got a start to show what he can do, if only to put him in the shop window. At his best he can occupy two big centre back's and hold the ball up waiting for support. This will be vital if we want to get all three points.

A Fellaini/Rodwell centre mid pairing should at least ensure that we compete physically, although Pienaar's qualtiy on the ball will be a big miss. If it's a straight choice between Bily and Victor to replace him I'd marginally favour Victor for his aerial power and strength on our non-existent breaks.

City's left back really likes to bomb on so Seamus could really show what he's got going forward if Moyes is brave enough to push him right up onto their defence. Hopefully he won't spend 90mins tracking back.

They are a different side than the one we beat last year: much more direct, better quality on the wings and more invention than any other side, with players who combine pace, power and football brains.

They leave gaps at the back that can be exploited, particularly at full back and they are susceptible to through balls down the flanks and vulnerable at set pieces. There will be opportunities for us but we will have to be at our best as I think we are facing the best team we have played so far this season.
Lee Courtliff
8   Posted 20/12/2010 at 15:43:05

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A long, aimless punt down the field from Jagielka .It should be an easy clearance even for 3rd division centre half let alone one who cost over £20mill. But somehow Lescott lets the ball go past him! All of a sudden "King" Louis is through one-on-one with England's number 1! He unleashes a typically weak "shot". Amazingly, Joe Hart lets the ball go through his legs and into the net! Joyous scenes in the away end as Everton claim an unlikely last minute winner!

No harm in dreaming. COYB!! Or should I say,Come On You Pinks?

Mike Hughes
9   Posted 20/12/2010 at 15:51:07

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I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend without a draw and without a defeat.

Now for an Everton victory with the following team:

Neville Jagielka Distin Baines
Coleman Rodwell Osman (if Pienaar is out with groin injury)

I agree with 4-4-1-1 with Yakubu knocking ten bells out of their defence for Tim to exploit and ready for Beckford or Gueye (!!!) to come on and destroy / humiliate / torture them (delete as applicable) in the second half.

Perhaps it's the tablets I'm on or the padded cell I'm in but I've got a good feeling about EFC tonight.
Tony I'Anson
10   Posted 20/12/2010 at 16:33:08

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Is Tevez playing? I hope not.
Santosh Benjamin
11   Posted 20/12/2010 at 16:39:39

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It will be 1 30 AM when my wife and I start watching the game. Since we work, i hope that we win so the adrenaline will help get through the day. If Pienaar doesnt make it, i will be worried for us. I would love to see Gueye start (if he even makes the bench!) Lets hope we show some passion, hard work and some great finishing for once...COYB
Ste Boyle
12   Posted 20/12/2010 at 16:41:25

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No doubt at all, we will bore the nation to tears for 10 minutes with some relegation fodder punt ball. City will score and we'll fall to bits, cue the 3-0 defeat.
Moyes seems beaten before we start, I dont think he even gives a sh*te about the lads braving this weather to get over there to support the lads......Fed up and we havent even kicked off....where is that sherry?
Ian McDowell
13   Posted 20/12/2010 at 17:06:16

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I think this is the sort of game the Everton team prefer. We can sit back and defend deep as opposed to sides doing the same and us struggling.

I can?t see anything other than 4-5-1 with Cahill supporting the lone front man, I think he will go with Saha again.

I hope to see Vaughan back on the bench if he is fit, just something different at least he will hassle the opposition centre backs something I haven?t see this season.
Ian McDowell
14   Posted 20/12/2010 at 17:14:27

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How about


Neville, Jags, Distin, Baines

Rodwell, Cahill, Fellaini

Anichebe, Vaughan, Gueye

Just a thought
Charlie Percival
15   Posted 20/12/2010 at 17:44:36

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Ian the most defensive managaer in the league playing with 3 strikers - three of which who havent had a sniff this season) haha, that tickled me
Martin Handley
16   Posted 20/12/2010 at 17:50:31

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Probable though not confirmed team:-

1-1 Any takers?

Nick Entwistle
17   Posted 20/12/2010 at 17:55:07

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Everton necessarily wont beat City, but the cold will, 1-0 us.
Ian McDowell
18   Posted 20/12/2010 at 18:08:40

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Yeah Charlie I didn't ever think we would go with such a team. I just want something different.
David Barks
19   Posted 20/12/2010 at 18:15:57

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My attitude hasn't changed from the start of the season. If we win, yippee, so what. Not going to win the league. If we lose, oh well, so what. Not going to be relegated. If we draw, another point gained, not going to make any difference really.

At the end of the season we'll probably be anywhere from 7th to 10th. Not because Moyes is a terrible manager or a great manager. Not because one striker would have made all the difference, or playing this player or that player, etc etc. It's because that's where we should finish based on the team we can afford and the team those around us can afford. Sure there are games we've lost or drawn that we could have won. Just as there are games we draw or win that we should have lost.

What is there really to care about? Chelsea got billionaire owner, win a bunch of trophies and league championships. Arsenal were at the top and then stopped trying to keep up with the spending of Chelsea, and since then have won nothing. Now City got bought out by billionaires and surprise surprise they're challenging at the very top, while Chelsea have slowed their spending and surprise surprise their dominance has come back to the pack.

It's a money game, simple as that. Some teams will have a good run of results and get some luck and finish somewhere higher than expected but that doesn't mean money isn't what really matters. Spurs have spent a shit load of money and it eventually has worked out for them. Everton have not spent and we have fallen back to the pack. Follow the money and you could pick the top of the league table before the season starts, minus one or two spots. Meaning maybe United finish 1st and Chelsea 2nd and City 3rd. In this current league there are only a few teams that matter as far as winning anything goes, and that is Manchester United, Manchest City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs. That's it. And shockingly enough, those are the highest spending team. As an Everton supporter that doesn't appeal to me. So football doesn't really appeal to me now. So tonight's game, does it really matter??
Colin Potter
20   Posted 20/12/2010 at 18:22:35

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Steve Guy
21   Posted 20/12/2010 at 18:38:04

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Jeeez, thank God you lot aren't giving the prematch team talk.............
David Hallwood
22   Posted 20/12/2010 at 18:45:48

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Surely, we're due a flukey win. Ist attack-deflection 1-0, 2nd attack- free kick or pen 2-0, pinned back till the 80th min, break away 3-0. Yeah I know desperation
Richard Dodd
23   Posted 20/12/2010 at 18:48:20

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I predict one change-Ossie for Pins.Result ?1-0 to Everton and the start of Blues on a roll!
Joe Bibb
24   Posted 20/12/2010 at 18:49:41

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the team are good enough to beat most teams its only the tactics that hold us back, if the players get it right tonight and play as they can then we will win 2-1 i dont have any time for Moyes he holds a good team back by his negativity but the players have the skill to win, we just need that bit of passion.
Its like watching a Ferrari in the slow lane of the Motorway under Moyes
Conor Waters
25   Posted 20/12/2010 at 18:51:21

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Everyone in the media is focused on how city will be top over christmas for the first time in 81 years after they win tonight. Its like it a fuckin formality - thats when we are dangerous. I confidently predict a sucker punch 2-0 victory as per our last three visits. Lets show those money grabbing whores what we're really about when the chips are down. Fuckin citeh geebags will be too bogged down in snoods, scarfs, balaclavas and tights...
Dave Smith
26   Posted 20/12/2010 at 19:01:52

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Found this on the BBC website:

"If they (Everton) fail to beat Manchester City, it will be the club's longest run without a victory under David Moyes and longest since an eight-match streak in 1999."

Thats it then, with Moyse's track record on these things, where going to get beat.
Mike Green
27   Posted 20/12/2010 at 19:18:48

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Tim Cahill 1st goal, 2-0, then 2-1, Everton win 3-1 on the night.
Yusuf Bobat
28   Posted 20/12/2010 at 19:22:56

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Anichebe & Osman in for Pienaar & Saha, big Vic playing the lone striker role??? Osman on left??? Feel really sorry for Billy, Gueye & Beckford. I give up!!!
Fran Mitchell
29   Posted 20/12/2010 at 19:38:32

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What is it with Moyes and his fondness of unfit strikers?

Yak ? unfit, then when he seems to be getting his fitness and form back, dropped for the unfit Saha. Unfit Saha plays a few games, then is dropped for Anichebe ? recently returned from injury and lack of games under his belt, 4 goals in how many years... FFS

Also, did Bily sleep with Moyes's wife or something?
Fran Mitchell
30   Posted 20/12/2010 at 19:38:32

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What is it with Moyes and his fondness of unfit strikers.

Yak - unfit, then when he seems to be getting his fitness and form back dropped for the unfit Saha. Unfit Saha plays a few games, then is dropped for the recently returned from injury and lack of games under his belt, 4 goals in how many years Anichebe.


Also, did Bily sleep with Moyes' wife or something?
Joe McMahon
31   Posted 20/12/2010 at 19:50:34

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My prediction for tonight is...Everton 5 Wigan O, sorry I meant Everton 3 Bolton 0, sorry again I mean Everton 5 West Brom 0, sorry I've done it again. Try again, Blackpool 0 Everton 2, shit I can't get the hang of this. OK here goes Man City 3 Everton 0.
Jim Feeney
32   Posted 20/12/2010 at 20:42:03

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Is Moyes taking the proverbial, so Saha, Yak and Beckford have had a chance he now gives the striking responsibilty to Anichebe, City's centre halves must be quaking in their shoes at the prospect of facing him. Saying that he'll probably bag a hat-trick.
Mike Allison
33   Posted 20/12/2010 at 23:09:48

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Some of you guys should be burned as witches. Joe McMahon you're safe though obviously. Please predict us to lose every week from now on.
Art Jones
34   Posted 21/12/2010 at 07:13:33

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Well said, Mike (#32). Some of you should hang your collective heads in shame after those comments. Thankfully we do have some loyal fans who are prepared to back the team when the luck has deserted us.
Steve Sumner
35   Posted 22/12/2010 at 06:44:20

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No one has had his thinking cap on longer than Sam Wallace in the Independent who muses how tonight?s opponents Everton might feel after seeing City taken over and rise up the Premier League.

?When Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan decided that what he really wanted to buy was a great English football club rich in history and tradition - albeit one that had, in recent times been eclipsed by their city rivals ? he alighted upon Manchester City. But he could as easily have chosen Everton,? reckons Wallace.

?When City play Everton tonight it will not require a great deal of imagination for those Evertonians who take their seats in the newly renovated City of Manchester Stadium to visualise what life would have been like had Abu Dhabi selected them as their great English football project?

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