Date: 23rd March 2010 at 8:49pm
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Challenge Number 2 of City’s 10 game mini-season comes in the form of Everton and their continued resurgence. This is one crucial game in hand that The Blues must exploit to the full…

Vital Quotes:

Roberto Mancini:

‘If we win seven games I think we’ll go to the Champions League, but I think it will be difficult. If we want to get fourth spot we must win always. It will be important that we win at home and away.In the last three games we have won in London twice, against Chelsea and Fulham, and drawn at Sunderland. It is important we have the same spirit away as we do at home.

‘Everton are in good form and they work very well on the pitch and it is a crucial game for us. If we win tomorrow we will have more chance of finishing fourth.

‘I will need everyone who is fit ready to play. There will probably be some changes for the Everton game. To lose Wayne and now Joleon like this is bad news, and I think we’re a bit unlucky, but that’s football.’

David Moyes:

‘The damage that was done by that transfer (Lescott to City) I think had a lot to do with how we started the season. It wasn’t just the injuries we had to contend with. I think it was unfair on Sylvain Distin and John Heitinga being thrown in when the team was short of one or two players.

‘It has gone and we have moved on so it doesn’t give this game any extra edge.

‘It didn’t help to lose a player at the start of the season but we are now nearly at the end of the season so we can’t still be talking about it. It is always satisfying to beat other teams but given what happened in the summer I felt we were hard done by. But it’s a long time ago now.

‘I have got one or two things I want to improve on but I think we have now got a really good squad without spending the money other clubs have.

‘Spending money isn’t always the answer. Sometimes it is the continuity of the management and back room staff and I think that has happened at Everton.’

Javier Garrido:

‘We are in a good position. These are the last games and we have to do well, we have to be strong and it is in our hands to get the fourth position…Everton are another top team. They work hard for 90 minutes so it will be a difficult game. They have been playing well recently and we will have to do the right work to beat them ‘

Mikel Areteta:

‘It’s a hard one and they are really good at home…we did really well against them at Goodison and last year we did well against them as well. So it’s going to be a good game, a tough one, but it’s going to be so important.’

VMC City Video Link: Mancio Everton Press Conference

Manchester City Team News:

It’s as you were absentee wise for City. Bridge, Lescott, M Johnson & Petrov are all out.

Adebayor remains suspended.

Player to watch: Kolo Toure

Captain Toure, after a generally wretched season of form has been given a chance to redress the balance until the end of this season now Joleon Lescott, who had thrived alongside Vincent Kompany’s leadership of the back four, has been rocked with an estimated 5 week tendon injury.

Everton Team News:

The Toffees’ long term injury victims are Fellaini and Senderos.

There is a question mark over Anichebe.

Toure’s flapping when the going got tough was no longer evident in a solid display against Fulham and he’ll be hoping to build on that, yet his distribution needs work. Toure’s role will be pivotal between now and the end of the season.

Player to watch: Mikel Arteta

Gollum Moyes has indicated that is in his eyes…Arteta is ‘coming back to his best.’ That certainly looks to be the case judging by his performance in the win over Bolton.

Gareth Barry, Nigel De Jong or Patrick Vieira, over to you.

Match Facts & Stats

In every of last 7 games that Carlos Tevez has scored in, City won.

El Apache has 22 goals from 30 City starts.

The Citizens are unbeaten in 6 outings and are the only club unbeaten at home all season.

Everton are unbeaten in 3 fixtures.

The Blues have kept 3 consecutive clean sheets at Eastlands.

The Toffees have not won any of their last 3 away games.

Follow the action and debate Live on Wednesday night in the VMC Match Day Thread in our new look forums!:
City v Everton – Match Day thread:- KO 7.45pm @ COMS

Ref Watch:

P Walton, Northamptonshire
Mr. Walton is the referee who inexplicably failed to send off Liverpool’s nasty Mr. Mascherano last month towards the end of the turgid draw at Eastlands whereby the Argentinian assassin could have crippled Gareth Barry with an appalling challenge. Ironically, the normally reserved (by comparison with his peers) Walton booked 7 players in that match. He has been the man in the middle twice for Everton so far this season away at Fulham (defeat) and Birmingham (draw). His only run out with City came in the aforementioned Liverpool boreathon. Current season record: Games:28, Yellow Cards:62 Red Cards:5

Match Prediction:

No margin for error. City must compete with Everton from start to finish as no doubt the bitterest of manager’s David Moyes will again have his side fired up for a contest against a club he can barely disguise his dislike of. Home advantage should be enough to see City through. A golden opportunity lies in the Blues’ hands with 6 of the 9 remaining fixtures to be played at Fortress Eastlands. Eastlands expects. This time around, I reckon we’ll give them a game.
Johnny On The Spot: CITY 2 Everton 0

Next Fixtures:

H: Wigan, Mon 29 Mar 20h00 GMT
A: Burnley, Sat 03 Apr 17h30 GMT
H: Birmingham, Sun 11 Apr 16h00 GMT
H: The rags, Sat 17 Apr 12h45 GMT
A: Arsenal, Sat 24 Apr 17h30 GMT
H: Aston Villa, Sat 01 May 15h00 GMT
H: Spurs, Wed 05 May 20h00 GMT
A: West Ham, Sun 09 May 15h00 GMT


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