Idrissa Gueye is a doubt with a groin injury picked up in Monday's draw with Watford
Everton face what is arguably their most challenging assignment of the season as they go to the Etihad Stadium in search of a first win in four games.
A painful last-gasp defeat in the Merseyside derby was followed by disappointing home draws with Newcastle and Watford, seven lost points that have left the Toffees in seventh place and 10 points adrift of fifth place Arsenal.
Given the strength of Pep Guardiola's team and Everton's record on the grounds of the top six — they haven't beaten any of those teams on their turf in five years — a trip to defending Premier League champions, Manchester City, is the last place Marco Silva would want to go needing to get back to winning ways.
City are on a nine-game winning streak at home and while they suffered defeat for the first time this season at Chelsea, they haven't lost back-to-back matches in the League in two years. They've also not lost to a team outside of the “big six” in 51 games… since Everton hammered them 4-0 in January last year.
So, while Guardiola has a 100% record in his meetings with Silva, the Blues are unbeaten on their last three visits to this part of Manchester and last season Ronald Koeman oversaw a battling defensive display and a 1-1 draw before being unceremoniously dismissed following one drubbing too many two months later.
It's that propensity for Everton to be an occasional bogey team for City, their away performances under Silva this season and a couple of key injury concerns for the hosts that will see them travel for this lunchtime kick-off with a degree of hope rather than outright dread.
City will be without two of their midfield inspirations in the form of David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne while Fernandinho, Danilo, John Stones and Sergio Aguero are all doubts. Full-back Benjamin Mendy is also ruled out. They always have more than enough talent in reserve, however, and if Aguero doesn't make it, Gabriel Jesus is expected to lead the line, ably assisted by Raheem Stirling who is in devastating goalscoring form this season.
Silva, meanwhile, might have to make a change in central midfield for the first time in weeks as Idrissa Gueye is a doubt with the apparent groin strain that forced off against Watford. As the more combative of he and Morgan Schneiderlin, Tom Davies would be the more likely replacement but it remains to be seen whether the manager will make any other alterations to a line-up that struggled to cope with the Hornets for long periods on Monday.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin's energy and physical presence were key elements in last year's draw in this fixture and he could be an experimental option for Silva if he does decide to make another change up front, while Bernard's prior success at the Etihad with Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League against an opposition given more to flair than sheer brawn might see him retain his place in the team.
At the end of the day, Everton are essentially on a hiding to nothing in this one and can hopefully just go out with few expectations on their shoulders and try and spring a surprise. Coping with City's liquid passing, the pace of the likes of Leroy Sané and their ability to score goals from all over their team will be of prime concern but it's also the kind of game that can draw the best out of Silva's own stars. Here's hoping…
Kick-off: 12:30pm, Saturday 15 December, 2018
Referee: Craig Pawson
Last Time: Manchester City 1 - 1 Everton
Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne, Davies, Gomes, Sigurdsson, Bernard, Walcott, Richarlison
Reader Comments (113)
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1 Posted 14/12/2018 at 06:57:36
2 Posted 14/12/2018 at 07:20:19
3 Posted 14/12/2018 at 07:28:58
Holgate Keane Mina
Davies Sigurdsson Gomes Digne
Bernard Calvert-Lewin Richarlison
Subs: Stekelenburg, Baines, McCarthy, Schneiderlin, Walcott, Tosun, Lookman
4 Posted 14/12/2018 at 08:07:40
5 Posted 14/12/2018 at 08:31:31
I would also play a front 3 of Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin and Walcott. I fear we'll have to hit Man City on the break and these 3 are the fastest players to do just that.
Set up as a fairly flat 4-3-3.
The other added bonus of this, is that Richarlison and Walcott should keep the City full-backs occupied enough not to join in their attacks as much.
Press their full-backs back, disrupt their midfield and hope that that will limit the intricate play up to the front. Expect to defend for long periods of the game then break at pace with the front 3. When breaking, Gana and Davies need to maintain their discipline. I feel this is no place for our full-backs to be venturing too far upfield.
6 Posted 14/12/2018 at 08:49:14
7 Posted 14/12/2018 at 09:10:50
All the odds are stacked against us every time we play a top six side nowadays because we have gone 24 matches without beating any of them (since beating Man City 4-0 under Koeman).
It's impossible to see how we can stop City scoring and given the fact that so far we have scored one goal (a penalty) from trips to Arsenal, Chelsea, United and Liverpool it doesn't bode well.
With likely struggles and losses from these next two games, our December will be on the rocks by the time we travel to Turf Moor on Boxing Day.
9 Posted 14/12/2018 at 09:39:34
I have been recommending that Calvert-Lewin get a chance for some while now and for me I would play Richarlison on the left and Walcott on the right. While Walcott may not be at his best at the moment, I just do not see Lookman getting on the score sheet, however tricky he may be... and the same goes for Bernard.
I would give both of these some game time depending how things go with the option to drop Bernard into a midfield area.
10 Posted 14/12/2018 at 09:43:56
Up front, we have to drop either Walcott or Bernard. Move Richarlison back onto the wing, and play Calvert-Lewin up front. Richarlison playing at centre-forward will get hammered by any two of LaPorte, Stones, Otamendi and Kompany.
Hate to say it but, if we can steal a draw, I would be over the moon.
11 Posted 14/12/2018 at 09:56:43
Obviously, the chances are that we won't win. But if we play well and resume some momentum, that would be a sign of continuing progress under the current management.
The six recent new signings, plus the new management, have made a big difference to our style of play, especially when playing the better sides who play good football. For this difference to continue and get even bigger, we need further signings. Another transfer window like the last one would likely push us on significantly, and we'd then be seeing rapid progress of the kind we haven't seen for a long time.
It's still early days with Silva and Brands, so let's see how things pan out as we go through a few transfer windows.
12 Posted 14/12/2018 at 11:08:12
Stan Schofield, that's the spirit — keep the faith.
13 Posted 14/12/2018 at 11:13:43
I think mindset of supporters can only be changed by the players doing it on the pitch.
Even though, for the best part of the 1990s, we watched dross, the belief we could always ruffle feathers of the big teams meant supporters kept an open mind to potentially seeing a victory and being surprised.
The last 15 years has been almost like a monotonous carbon copy of season's results after season's results, failure to win away to the top sides, failure to win a derby, bottling it in big Cup matches.
I think Evertonians would all be very open to a change of mindset but it needs to come from seeing something that will take us by surprise on the pitch.
14 Posted 14/12/2018 at 11:18:16
Zouma, Davies and perhaps Calvert-Lewin to come in here.
16 Posted 14/12/2018 at 11:23:43
17 Posted 14/12/2018 at 11:31:01
As Evertonians, all we can have at the moment is optimism that the manager is working on the situation and that, by the time this season is over, he has molded a squad that can finally lock horns with the ''big boys''. The RS game would have been a nice place to start but it wasn't to be and had the exact opposite effect.
If they can put in a sound defensive performance, then they could conceivably win the game but they have to show a lot more confidence from the opening whistle than they did against Watford.
18 Posted 14/12/2018 at 11:31:16
Jim Bennings @ 13 (an appropriate number for the poster...).
An individual's mindset is very much set by the individual.
To say it is determined by other individuals or events is to absolve yourself from the responsibility of determining your own state of mind and attitude to life in general.
19 Posted 14/12/2018 at 11:32:09
If we give them too much respect, they will pulverise us. Get at them, attack on the counter with pace and aggression and defend from the front, pressing them each time they touch the ball.
Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin, Lookman up front.
20 Posted 14/12/2018 at 11:56:31
Our right-hand side has not improved. So for me, it's a 4-5-1 formation with Gomes and Bernard playing closer together, with an energetic Richarlison up top.
21 Posted 14/12/2018 at 12:25:03
22 Posted 14/12/2018 at 12:28:27
The question is by how many. We might keep it tight and lose 1-0 but I don't feel as though we've seen anything in recent games to suggest we'll cause an upset.
Blind faith in Everton is about the only thing to suggest otherwise.
23 Posted 14/12/2018 at 12:33:19
Wolves drew 1-1 with City on the first day of the season? I think you're confusing their results with that of them beating Chelsea recently.
24 Posted 14/12/2018 at 12:45:31
Don't know from where you got the idea that it was Man City?
25 Posted 14/12/2018 at 13:03:54
Think back to the likes of Gray, Hickson, Ferguson, Lyons and Sharp. Each of them had attributes that set them apart from each other. But one thing all had in common was an uncompromising hard-hitting approach to the game and that is what Calvert-Lewin lacks.
We have had the other more skilful type of striker such as Alex Young but Calvert-Lewin is not near that standard.
Big Dunc is supposedly mentoring the lad but I think he would learn more with a couple of sessions in a boxing ring.
26 Posted 14/12/2018 at 13:04:13
You seem to be suggesting that Jim #13 is being negative. All he is doing is telling it how it is. That we have the mentality of a small-town team. Wake up and smell the coffee.
27 Posted 14/12/2018 at 13:30:34
You have the correct score but the wrong day.
28 Posted 14/12/2018 at 13:51:41
29 Posted 14/12/2018 at 13:55:31
With Man City playing without several regulars, we may surprise them and help our lovely cousins into the bargain — now wouldn't that be nice!!!
30 Posted 14/12/2018 at 14:14:00
31 Posted 14/12/2018 at 14:16:24
Gana and Sigurdsson weren't incredible against Watford – although the team in general was under par.
Unfortunately, I don't see a much better team from the squad than that which played Watford. Maybe you could swap in McCarthy for Gana if he is injured – I always imagine that we are a bit porous with Schneiderlin taking the defensive role.
Perhaps Sigurdsson is tired but he's one of our best players – would Davies's energy make up for that?
I'd like to see more of Lookman.
32 Posted 14/12/2018 at 14:23:02
Most posters seem fairly upbeat about this match, and I would also like us to get a result too, even if it does give you know who a boost, but it won't be easy against even an under strength City.
Let's face it, their subs/squad would walk into any Premier League side, so another benchmark for us to try and emulate in the rebuilding process. I would like to see Walcott pushed into the forward line with Richarlison dropping back to his more effective normal position, and either Bernard or Lookman taking the right slot.
I was surprised Lookman didn't make more of his inclusion against the Barcodes, maybe his role, for the time being anyway, is impact sub off the bench, as long a he gets a minimum of 20 minutes, I can't see the point bringing subs on with 2 minutes to go, unless it's because of injury.
Early kick-off for a change, at least it's only up the road for most fans, rather than a long journey coupled with the early start.
33 Posted 14/12/2018 at 14:23:12
I think this Man City side, and last season's team as well coupling them together, is the single best side in my short "history". They are, frankly, sublime to watch.
It will take a Herculean effort to get a result.
And that's why I watch and hope. Time to turn the car around, we're going the wrong way.
34 Posted 14/12/2018 at 14:25:54
35 Posted 14/12/2018 at 14:31:19
I live in Brazil, the world's biggest producer of coffee, so no issues with being able to smell the coffee (even though I remain a faithful tea drinker meself).
Jim was telling it as he sees it (and seemingly you too) based on his (tediously negative) mindset, which – according to his own submission – is determined by other parties and persons other than himself.
I observed that each one of us is the master (or mistress...) of our own state of mind and to make others responsible for it is to absolve yourself from determining your own thoughts, actions and words.
NOWT to do with the footy at all.
36 Posted 14/12/2018 at 14:32:41
“We have to analyse what we are doing.
“In some moments you are more happy with our performances. We dont play alone. The opponents begin to understand how we are playing and we have to create other opportunities.
“In the last two games at home we conceded goals that we hadnt before. Clubs come here at Goodison playing more solid.
“The biggest difference against Newcastle and Watford is we should do better when conceding goals at certain moments.”
I like that he knows where the problems are. He talks a very good game. These type of comments are different to Roberto, Ronald, and Sam, and even to Moyes. However, the proof of pudding is in the eating and lets see how he develops the side.
Silva is clearly not chalking tomorrow up as an “expected loss” or hoping to keep the score down. Lets be cautiously optimistic.
37 Posted 14/12/2018 at 15:33:20
I work in Manchester city centre so calling into the local bookies to see what odds they will give; should be good as they won't give us a prayer.
In work tomorrow so can't wait to see some miserable locals around the city before I go home, cheer me up just in time for Christmas...
38 Posted 14/12/2018 at 15:43:59
39 Posted 14/12/2018 at 16:00:15
We can score at least one against them so I don't want to say it but I think 1-1 is the result. Who knows... with a slice luck maybe we can sneak a 2-1 win with Paul #37 maybe cashing in his slip. In fact, I will have a fiver on it, what's the odds?
40 Posted 14/12/2018 at 16:04:53
We have to change it up from the last two matches. Bernard and Walcott might be better impact subs. I really rate Calvert-Lewin... he needs to get a run. I think he's got better potential than Tosun.
41 Posted 14/12/2018 at 16:12:28
Digne and Coleman and their centre-back partners will be unable to deal with the clever running of Sterling, Sane and Jesus. 4-1 to City. They are the best and it will be no disgrace to lose this one.
42 Posted 14/12/2018 at 16:47:54
43 Posted 14/12/2018 at 16:53:44
Its when you look at Evertons record against the top six over a number of years that there are solid grounds for concern and where we need to be at to improve our dismal record should be brought to light, otherwise how can a team ever expect to challenge.
44 Posted 14/12/2018 at 17:13:19
Macca not being on the bench doesn't necessarily mean Silva doesn't rate him. For the most part, he has used the same subs: 2 forwards, 1 winger, goalie, fullback, center half, and one midfielder. The midfielder has been Tom Davies but that could be because Silva sees him as more capable of filling in for Sigurdsson or Gomez than Macca. Macca is more similar to Gana, so he may not be involved simply because if he were then we have a sub who can replace one player versus Davies who can replace two.
Obviously, it is possible Silva doesn't rate Macca, it is also possible he is not right mentally. Allardyce made comments last season about his injuries being partly mental insinuating he was worried about getting injured again versus actually always being really injured. If that was the case then, maybe he is even more paranoid/afraid now after his horrific leg break.
But, I hope Macca is fit and healthy physically and mentally because I think he is the only suitable choice to fill in for Gana.
45 Posted 14/12/2018 at 17:21:30
Seamus is not the same; anyone remember Jimmy Husband?
46 Posted 14/12/2018 at 17:37:34
Tom, these days more players make it back to full speed than not... it just takes longer for some than for others. It took Oviedo three years, Ramsey three, Shaw and Cisse both less than two, not sure about Barkley. A generation ago, Di Matteo and Edoardo never made it back at all, but medical and rehab sciences are much better today.
47 Posted 14/12/2018 at 17:39:08
Like I say, it's a really tall order, but I couldn't resist having a little nibble at 12/1...
48 Posted 14/12/2018 at 17:49:43
But we know... so fuck them!
49 Posted 14/12/2018 at 17:54:20
50 Posted 14/12/2018 at 18:23:13
City lost last week for the first time,a scrappy CL win in midweek followed by their first home defeat for ages!
Believe...or at least consider it might happen,before throwing in the towel before the game has actually begun.
51 Posted 14/12/2018 at 18:23:22
52 Posted 14/12/2018 at 18:32:56
Going tomorrow hoping for a result, otherwise what's the point in going?
53 Posted 14/12/2018 at 18:38:59
I don't see why we can't go there tomorrow and do the same.
As ever with games like this, we have to take our chances and avoid giving the match officials a chance to decide where the points are going.
Time for our lads to stand up and be counted.
2-1, Siggy and Lookman.
54 Posted 14/12/2018 at 18:51:23
was strolling, so maybe he is not ready to go all out just yet. I live in hope that he makes it back to full fitness.
55 Posted 14/12/2018 at 18:57:14
All jokes aside, we've played well in every road match this season. We've played every top six side we've faced extremely tough. We have zero pressure on us. We may not win, but there's no reason to be afraid or talking cricket scores.
56 Posted 14/12/2018 at 18:59:20
I hope this game, we go into it like we did in the derby the other week.
Will be that much tougher with City expecting De bruyne and Aguero expected to pass fitness tests.
However we have a chance, it all depends how we approach the game, approach it right and who knows.
I would not judge this team on past defeated mentality against the big clubs, we have to start putting our chances away, it is costing us big time.
57 Posted 14/12/2018 at 19:03:19
As for City, a lot has been said about there injury problems, Pep has said De Bruyne, Fernandinho and Aguero are back in the squad, that makes a huge difference. Here's hoping.
58 Posted 14/12/2018 at 19:04:34
As far as tomorrow is concerned, everything points to a City win - so expect a draw AT LEAST.
59 Posted 14/12/2018 at 19:32:32
And you can fuck right off telling us that we have no place supporting EFC or any other team. Who do you think you are?
I would, of course, love us to upset the odds, and will be cheering us on regardless, but don't confuse hard logic with capitulation.
60 Posted 14/12/2018 at 19:50:25
Instead of haranguing or trying to seem superior to other supportors of our club, why are you not content to allow differing opinions instead of interminably trying to prove your point?
My take on tomorrows game is that I wouldn't back Everton with your money. However, that is my opinion and I would be happy with a decent performance.
I would of course be very happy to be wrong, but then again I'm just being pragmatic.
61 Posted 14/12/2018 at 20:00:34
But others who know more about technicality of the game give a decent assessment of chances. I learn from them but sometimes don't want to hear from them as it brings back my dreams from the heavens to the earth.
In the end we all have our dreams and knowledge.
But we share we share being Blues.
62 Posted 14/12/2018 at 20:09:01
Let's just agree to disagree on our chances at the Etihad tomorrow.
I'll be there tomorrow, living in hope as ever, but expecting the worst.
63 Posted 14/12/2018 at 20:12:57
It's a far cry from last season, when we went to Stamford Bridge and couldn't even record a touch in Chelsea's BOX until the match was over an hour old.
64 Posted 14/12/2018 at 20:16:46
As long as we can walk out of the Etihad having seen the team give all they've got, and put up a good performance, then we can't really complain. After all, we won't be the first team, and certainly not the last, to come away from there empty-handed.
65 Posted 14/12/2018 at 20:21:54
Yes, I'd love for us to at least put in a good performance. Hope Davies can rise to the occasion, if he plays.
66 Posted 14/12/2018 at 20:24:08
67 Posted 14/12/2018 at 20:55:02
68 Posted 14/12/2018 at 20:59:39
We have a very good record against City so weak mentality should not come into this unless its the City players.
Siggy and Richy have got to be a shoe-in as our most consistemt goalscorersnad if Gana is not fit I would consider 3 CB's as all three are capable of playing the ball on the ground and we need the speed of Zouma in this one.
I also believe Walcott is feeling his way back into form so would play him on the RHS with Richy on the left and DCL to do the grafting up front.
Although Seamus hasnt lived up to his old form yet I would leave him and Digne to play the wingback roles with Siggy and Gomes running MF.
We are due a win and if we find the energy applied at Anfield feel we could suprise a few people.
69 Posted 14/12/2018 at 21:26:56
If my old memory seves me right we came away with a 4-0 victory.
Where there is life there is hope so come on you Blues.
70 Posted 14/12/2018 at 21:38:10
71 Posted 14/12/2018 at 21:43:50
5-2 by the way, surprised everyone including all
Evertonians who were there, but it proves anything is possible in football.
74 Posted 14/12/2018 at 22:05:39
I agree entirely. Logic says we should lose but if every football match went as expected then there would be no point watching. I am hoping for a good result
75 Posted 14/12/2018 at 22:20:29
76 Posted 14/12/2018 at 23:02:22
Zouma and Keane were doing well and getting a good partnership going. Don't fix something that doesn't need fixing!!!
77 Posted 14/12/2018 at 23:45:38
78 Posted 14/12/2018 at 23:56:15
Digne going forward will only improve on a very decent start. Coleman .well in this setup I'd rather see Kenny given the nod. Gomes and Davies at the races will be interesting, if a bit red card waiting to happen ish. But if they can play together going forward it will be us giving Man City something to react too, which can't be bad surely.
Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin and Lookman as a tight front three with width vital and must be provided by Digne and I guess it will actually be Coleman not Kenny.
Pace, creativity and balance. Should be good enough if they all turn up. But City are a nightmare going forward. I feel we can get something from the game but lose a goal early on and...
79 Posted 14/12/2018 at 00:05:14
I want to see Calvert-Lewin given a proper run out and would start Lookman again on the right. The two can work well together. However, if the forecast snow does arrive, we could alternatively build a snowman in front of their goal, stick an old brillo pad on top and put a Tosun shirt on it. More likely to score.
However, my biggest fear isn't the awesome Man City line up, it's the possible return of Schneiderlin. I'm hoping Davies comes in if Gueye isn't fit as he at least has a pulse.
I hope we get a result, but fear that December could end up being a very bad month for us. COYB.
80 Posted 14/12/2018 at 00:16:17
There we're many after the Watford game saying "Silva out" and "no excuses – they're all his players". I found this a bit of a joke really. While I agree somewhat with there being changes needed to be made in certain areas but saying sack the manager is shameful and ridiculous after only a few months.
Digne, Mina, Gomes, Richarlison and Zouma have been excellent since their arrival here, Bernard being the only disappointment so far and he may yet come good. They're all Silva's players that he wanted and we should be over the moon with how they're performing already. The improvement so far has been brilliant since the dross of last season.
You fickle lot need to have a look in the mirror and stop dragging us all down; give the man time, at least till next season!
81 Posted 15/12/2018 at 00:21:16
What I know is that, under Silva, we will not keep it tight and get one. We will go for it. Think about it, 12/1 in a two-horse race. I will be backing my team tomorrow. If I lose, I don't give a fuck because I know, yes know, that, for the first time in years, we have a coach who will try to win.
82 Posted 15/12/2018 at 00:21:48
The other reason as well, which you alluded to, was Seamus has not been the player we all know and love, up to now, so I couldn't see Seamus being dropped and Kenny, who hasn't played for a while, coming into a game of this magnitude.
83 Posted 15/12/2018 at 00:28:35
Jim tells it like it is
and tells it like it is
and tells it like it is
and tells it like it is.
84 Posted 15/12/2018 at 00:45:41
85 Posted 15/12/2018 at 01:09:36
Jose Mourinho seems to chop and change too much; he knows what he wants, but does he get it across to the players, plus he is a trifle arrogant.
Funnily enough, with us playing the day before, and early too, depending on the result, they (RS) will set their stall out accordingly!
86 Posted 15/12/2018 at 01:51:11
John, I generally think Tosun gets too much stick on here, but that made me laugh out loud.
Harry (80) - agreed re: Silva and the OTT reactions on here. By that logic, Chelsea should have sacked Sarri because he drew with us and lost to Wolves.
87 Posted 15/12/2018 at 03:13:44
Patience is a virtue.
88 Posted 15/12/2018 at 05:25:33
My comments may have been posted on this site, but they were not directed at anyone on it. I promise both of you I hadn't even read your posts before I posted... but I have now.
I went for a pint for the first time in months yesterday with my lads and two other Blues. All four of them said (with what seemed like a certain knowledge) that we would lose today. My post was identical to my response to them. Their reaction was different to yours – they laughed at me. They engaged in the banter. I won't put their replies up here because there may be children reading. You can imagine....
They too claimed that they were simply applying logic. They denied my claim that they were "surrendering". Yet, despite their piss-taking, they were all unable to come up with a better word to describe conceding defeat before the battle.
I don't subscribe to the logic that, because we have been regularly getting beat by these teams under previous regimes, we can't start beating them under this one. That, to me, simply isn't logical. It's a different approach. Yes, I understand the size of the ask; the bookies' odds reflect it.
I will roll out my comment even further than just football. it applies to all sport – please bear in mind, this is only my opinion: If an individual can't expect the unexpected, be excited by the prospect of an upset, believe he/she, or the man/woman/team they are following always has a chance, then they have no business following sport – let alone football... The point is lost on them – I truly believe that .
Do I always think we are going to win? Of course not. Do I always think we have a chance of winning? Fucking right I do!!!
There was no intention to insult you guys, or question your love for this club; if it came across that way, I sincerely apologise.
89 Posted 15/12/2018 at 05:31:33
Each to their own view and most respectfully so, but football matches are not always precast and set. The challenge we face is taking chances we make, taking them and building from strength and get in the groove shown at Chelsea and first-half at our old ground.
And no reckless challenges and self-inflicted calamities, which we've seen in the last 3 matches.
At the back of City's mind, they do know, we can play and so, as long as the officials are fair, we have a fighters chance. Digne on penalty duty today.
Interesting to see who play up front, right wing and which centre-backs start.
What's Our Name!
90 Posted 15/12/2018 at 05:54:20
91 Posted 15/12/2018 at 08:18:40
92 Posted 15/12/2018 at 08:57:41
The whole concept of paying serious money and time to watch people play sport is ridiculous if you really think about it BUT!!! That's what makes it great isn't it? The suspension of all serious behaviour for a few hours, the singing, the wild celebrations the aggressive swearing.
I like to read posts that are well thought out with better tactical analysis than I possess but I still prefer daft enthusiastic optimism, I agree with other posts that bad luck / form has to change somewhere and that this management team is capable of doing it. The unexpected does happen in football — otherwise, there would be no-one following the game.
93 Posted 15/12/2018 at 09:09:36
I agree with the jist of your posts. My eldest son also said that we will lose, and that we need to concentrate on getting everyone fit for the Spurs match. I've banned him from the Xbox for the rest of the day. 'Surrender Monkey' is a great term for this defeatest mentality and thankfully I don't see any sign of it in Silva.
Allardyce was a 'Surrender Monkey' (some said 'pragmatic') and we hated his attitude. Silva, thankfully is full of fight and belief. It's an attitude we should all adopt.
Why can't we beat them? On our day, we can beat anyone. As you say, it's unlikely, but it's certainly possible!
94 Posted 15/12/2018 at 09:48:07
The difference is the spoken word in the pub with your mates (with facial expressions etc) is at odds to the written word on the screen. Apology accepted.
On today's game, the team worked so hard at Chelsea and Anfield and looked tired last week. I would be amazed if we can sustain the energy levels (especially if Gana is out) to keep them at bay for 95 mins.
95 Posted 15/12/2018 at 10:11:09
96 Posted 15/12/2018 at 10:15:02
97 Posted 15/12/2018 at 10:23:15
Yes, we have a good chance because the mentality and forward play has improved so much and City can still over-play at times and be gotten at. They're not a defensive team so we need to keep the pressing and movement of our forwards going for as long as possible.
I think Silva will try and play the same team if possible but I would play Richarlison left to occupy space left by Walker and Calvert-Lewin centrally to hound the centre-backs.
Gana will be a big miss and the players need to keep their discipline and patience. No point picking up silly yellow cards for needless kicks and trips when pressing. Davies can be a little over eager but Schneiderelin should be nowhere near the squad, never mind the first team.
Something different we could try is to play Baines as a central defensive midfielder. He'll help track runners back and cover for Digne. Plus penalties and corners may be more successful.
Anyway I live in hope but, should we get beat 6-0, I know it won't be without trying to win and trying to attack but beaten by a great team in good form. However, you just never know in football!
98 Posted 15/12/2018 at 10:33:19
I am not wildly optimistic but I am still giving the missus the hurry-up, need to get the shopping done and be back. COYB
99 Posted 15/12/2018 at 11:02:49
Here's hoping we put up a good performance but, after our last two games, I'm not holding out much hope, but you just never know.
103 Posted 15/12/2018 at 11:34:37
Man City have Aguero, De Bruyne and Sterling on the bench.
104 Posted 15/12/2018 at 11:35:30
105 Posted 15/12/2018 at 11:36:18
Man City were fantastic against Chelsea for 40 mins, but they missed chances. Chelsea got one, scored and worked their socks off for the rest of the game, pinching another goal In the process.
I'm a great believer in logic and evidence, but sometimes life's all about accepting and thriving on the randomness it throws at us. Sometimes, you have to make your own 'logic'.
That's what we have to do today. We have to go there on the basis that, if we work like Trojans and take our chances, we can win.
106 Posted 15/12/2018 at 11:38:15
Good luck, plenty of team effort; 0-0 would be good. Sneak a win would be great. Coyb.
107 Posted 15/12/2018 at 11:40:39
108 Posted 15/12/2018 at 11:42:44
Interesting but confusing inclusion of Zouma for Gana and Calvert-Lewin, so hopefully Richarlison goes back to what I believe is his most effective position. Could he be playing 3 at the back?
109 Posted 15/12/2018 at 11:42:59
110 Posted 15/12/2018 at 11:44:19
111 Posted 15/12/2018 at 11:45:42
So, seeing this squad, we are on for a hiding: 3-0 to Man City, I am afraid!!
112 Posted 15/12/2018 at 11:50:57
I think the starting XI is the first time Silva has 'blinked' in his time as Everton manager, thinking more of stopping the opposition rather than setting his team up to play primarily our way.
A very 'Sam Allardyce' pragmatism which, when he tried it at Arsenal last season, saw us 3-0 down in 15 minutes and 5-1 losers overall.
It may prove a masterstroke, but I for one am not convinced by a back five with three centre-backs, neither in one-off games nor long term.
Interesting to see Calvert-Lewin play from the start. I hope he will play up front with Richarlison dropping wide left. Maybe Silva recalls how outstanding Calvert-Lewin was away to Man City last season playing the lone striker role, showing good hold up play, laying on our goal for Rooney and being cute enough to get Walker set off.
'Ave at them, Blues!
113 Posted 15/12/2018 at 11:52:31
114 Posted 15/12/2018 at 12:06:30
As for our starting XI, I don't think Silva is "pulling an Allardyce"; I just think he sees this as his best line-up with Gueye unavailable. We'll see.
116 Posted 15/12/2018 at 12:23:07
117 Posted 15/12/2018 at 12:23:12
I was listening to the Blue Room in the week and they were arguing they can't see him scoring 10-15 goals. I wonder if he needs to do that to justify his place? Obviously we'd like that but he's replacing Bernard who has scored zero goals.
Richarlison seems capable of scoring from the left or the centre. I think he'll be a nuisance, hold up the ball much better than Richarlison, and maybe he'll develop given a run in a decent team.
At some point, you've got to put some faith in a striker to play up front. Until you buy another one at least.
118 Posted 15/12/2018 at 12:29:19
Holding onto something away from home – throw another defender on. Need a goal at home – keep throwing strikers on.
I'm not seeing the strategic masterclass others are proclaiming. He seems to keep it pretty simple.
Today... extra defender, a striker who can hold up the ball (Richarlison has barely controlled a ball for a few weeks) and pace out wide to counter-attack. Might work but it's not exactly a complicated or unusual strategy. Let's hope it works. COYB!!!
119 Posted 15/12/2018 at 12:40:05
120 Posted 15/12/2018 at 13:01:56
It's tough enough without the suicidal tendencies.
121 Posted 15/12/2018 at 15:04:35
A loss is always disappointing and I've never been a fan of making the defenders play and pass their way up the field all the time.
It's good given space and time but not when we just end up putting our own players under pressure. We need to mix it up. If they have 4 players on the edge of our box the other players need to do more to find the space.
It was always going to be a tough game. We got beaten by the better team but we played well in patches. We had a go, players need to know when to follow instructions (pass, pass, pass) and when to play direct into space and advance us up the field.
Still work to do but moving forward.
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