Everton v Man City | Saturday 31st March 2018, 17:30 | BT Sport
When Everton secured a 1-1 draw away at the Ethiad on the second gameweek of the season, no-one would’ve expected them to be battling relegation for long periods of the season. Manchester City have a huge Champions League tie less than a mile down the road from Goodison on Wednesday, but need to continue their title charge here on Saturday.
After going through a small blip under Allardyce over the Christmas and New Year period, they’ve had a resurgence over the last few weeks which looks to have all but secured their Premier League survival. Wins against Stoke and Brighton before the international break leave them 12 points clear of the bottom-three.
Everton won’t be too happy with the way the international break played out, as they lost Idrissa Gueye and Tom Davies through injury. Centre-back Ashley Williams is also unavailable due to suspension after his red card against Burnley, all of them are huge losses for Sam Allardyce heading into this weekend’s games. Phil Jagielka and Michael Keane are likely to partner each other in the heart of the Everton defence, and it’ll be a tough test for them against the electric Manchester City frontline.
Everton have been pretty poor when playing at home to the Premier League’s top six so far this season. They’ve played four, lost three and drawn one – conceding ten goals in the process. And it’s not going to get any easier at Goodison Park on Saturday evening.
The Premier League is all but wrapped up for Manchester City and their main focus now is to win their first Champions League. They can go one step closer to doing that against Liverpool on Wednesday, so perhaps they’ll have one eye on that fixture when travelling to the blue half of Merseyside this weekend.
Sergio Aguero has been ruled out of this game on Saturday (and potentially the Champions League tie next week), so it’s a huge chance for Gabriel Jesus to impress Pep Guardiola heading into the business end of the season. The Brazilian scored against Germany for his country during the international break and, after suffering a knee ligament injury earlier in the season, Jesus will be looking to make up for lost time on Saturday.
Manchester City won ten consecutive home games at the start of this season, before suffering a minor bout of home sickness when they went three without a win on their travels. But wins against Arsenal and Stoke before the international break means they’ve picked up 38 points from a possible 45 away from home this season, and you’d back them to make it another three on Saturday.
As I’ve already mentioned, Sergio Aguero’s injury means this game is a huge opportunity for Gabriel Jesus to impress his manager as we head into the final few games of the season. He’s scored a goal every 120 minutes for Manchester City this season, and against a Everton defence that is prone to conceding a goal against the Premier League’s top six, I fancy him to add to his tally this weekend.
Jesus to score two or more goals on Saturday is 4/1 with Sky Bet, and if Jagielka and Keane do start at centre-back for the Toffees, the Brazilian has the ability to give them a horrid time at Goodison Park.
Everton v Man City – Gabriel Jesus to score two or more goals (4/1 Sky Bet)