Date: 15th January 2010 at 1:41pm
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City return to the ESPN airwaves for a traditionally tough trip to play a reinvigorated Everton side. Can The Citizens keep up the tremendous pace and performance levels they have set?

Vital Quotes:

Roberto Mancini:

‘It’s important we continue our run and keep winning games if possible, and improve game after game. Every game is difficult and the next match at Everton will be tough too.’

David Moyes:

‘Patrick Vieira has been a magnificent player and I have a great deal of respect for him as a footballer, but is that what City need? I don’t know. They’ll know what they need. It’s not our business. We would try to bring in young, up-and-coming players who we think we can have here. I’m sure there will be a lot of young players at City who will be disappointed at not getting the chance they might have otherwise done. It might turn out to be a good move for City but, if you’re asking me if it is good for English football, then I’m not so sure. I think a lot of people would like to see young British players given that sort of chance.’

Micah Richards:

‘It was really great to hear the fans chant for me on Monday night. I think they appreciate that I have come through the Academy and I have an affinity for them and the club. Hopefully we will give them plenty more to sing about in the months ahead.’

Dedryck Boyata:

‘We’ve been working more on team shape and working in teams. Defenders will work with defenders, midfielders with midfielders and so on and we also concentrate more on tactics – and it’s working so far with four wins and only one goal conceded.’

Benjani:

‘When you are doing well people want to know if you are the real deal or whether it’s down to a run of good fortune. They’ll be watching to see how we perform at difficult places like Everton, but as long as we concentrate and get our tactics right, I think we’ll leave Goodison Park with a good result.’

Buzz Lightyear, Vital Manchester City:

‘So when do the tests stop? Is not victories over Chelsea, Arsenal(x2) draw at Liverpool, and robbed in daylight at the Swamp enough? By all accounts no is the answer. Played 20, won 10, lost 2. If only we could have held onto some of those leads. 38 points. Can it be possible that this season will be our best finish in the Premier?’

VMC City Video Link: Joleon Lescott Injury Update Special For Everton VMC visitors

Everton Team News:

Everton have no suspensions, but one Sylvain Distin who left City ‘for Champions League football’ with Portsmouth a couple of seasons ago will face a late fitness test on a hamstring injury.

Rodwell, Anichebe, Arteta, and Jagielka are all knacked. Yobo and Yakubu are on international duty.

Player to watch: Marouane Fellaini

Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini’s father told the hacks last week that his son is being monitored by Chelsea after some superb performances of late.

Fellaini has been used in a deeper lying, more defensive midfield role of late and excelled. De Jong, Vieira and Barry are sure to be primed by Mancio to combat the spectacularly coiffured anchor player.

Manchester CITY Team News:

City have nobody suspended despite rumours that Zabaleta was but Robinho’s troublesome groin problem has flared up again. He’s doubtful.

Santa Cruz needs attention too following his brief run up and down against Blackburn.

Bridge, Lescott, Onuoha and Ireland are sidelined with out for the season Johnson.

Adebayor is absent on compassionate grounds, Toure is on international duty.

Many Blues are wondering if Mancio will give a debut to France Captain Patrick Vieira and draft Shaun Wright-Phillips back into the side.

Player to watch: Carlos Tevez

For the fourth game running it has to be Tevez.

His exceptional work rate and sublime skill are going into overdrive with the benefit of the regular top flight football he was denied last season.

He has bagged 15 goals in 21 starts and it’s clear from Monday night’s hat-trick that he is hungry for more.

‘El Apache’ will relish the challenge at Everton and alongside Bellamy and Petrov is likely to be right in amongst it from the first whistle.

Match Facts & Stats

Since the end of September, Everton have won two and drawn 8 of 14 games.

City are aiming for their 5th consecutive Premier League win.

Everton are unbeaten in 6 league fixtures, drawing 4 and winning 2.

City have scored 42 league goals so far this season to Everton’s 28.

The Blues won 1-2 at Everton last season. The Citizens first win there since 1992.

Everton have won 1 of the past 10 Saturday evening games that they have played.

City have lost a current season record of only 2 away games this season. Only Spurs can boast the same statistic.

City will be taking the field in this season’s classic third strip.

Follow The Match In The VMC Forum:

MATCHDAY THREAD: Everton v Man City – Sat Jan 16th – KO: 5:30pm UK Time

Rival Fans Q&A`s:

Vital Everton : City View With MCFC Goatboy

VMC’s Desert Island Shinpads: Everton With Everton Mike

Ref Watch:

Andre Marriner, West Midlands

Marriner is the man who officiated Mark Hughes last seesaw game in charge against Sunderland. He has also risked Taggart`s wrath by admirably sending off two rags this season. Averages 3 yellows per game. Needs to be strong for this Lancashire derby which could be a very close encounter. Current Season Record: Games: 18 Yellow Cards: 62 Red Cards: 7

Match Prediction:

Two sides running into form at a crucial stage of the season go head to head in what is sure to be a closely contested game. City, although playing some spectacular football, will go into the game under strength again and will need to remain well organized, especially defensively where the only cock up across 5 games has been a complacent exchange between Given and Kompany to gift Blackburn an Eastlands consolation goal. Many Blue eyes will be upon Tuesday’s League Cup semi-final 1st leg against the rags and these situations can often have an effect. Everton meanwhile are also on a roll but will be mindful of the fact that last season they were in arguably better form and were beaten 1-2 by The Blues in the corresponding fixture against all predictions. That said, they are looking steadier and a tough proposition. Too close to call. Johnny On the Spot: Everton 1 CITY 1

Next Fixtures:

A: the rags, LCSF1, Tue 19 Jan 19h45 GMT
A: Scunthorpe, FAC4, Sun 24 Jan 16h00 GMT
A: the rags, LCSF2, Wed 27 Jan 20h00 GMT
H: Portsmouth, Sun 31 Jan 13h30 GMT

 

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