Friday, 4 October 2013

Opportunity for redemption…IF we put in a shift

Under Moyes the meeting of City & Everton usually resulted in a black mark on our record. All too often coming away from Goodison Park with nothing; regularly having to settle for point at home.

Different animal but just as dangerous

With The Toffees Roberto Martinez now has the tools at his disposal to express himself more than he ever could do than with his long-standing relationship with Wigan Athletic; a team where, considering the restraints compared to a lot of teams in the Premier League, he worked wonders. At Everton Roberto and Bill Kenwright managed to cling on to all of their key players; only allowing the over-priced Marouane Fellaini to leave right at the last minute.

But he replaced the ridiculously bouffant-haired one with two work-horses in the shape of James McCarthy from his former club and our very own Gareth Barry on loan…and then made a brilliant loan move for the very dangerous Chelsea striker, Romelu Lukaku. They also have one of the hottest, English midfield prospects in Ross Barkley. Result? Everton are the only team in the Prem who are unbeaten; sitting 4th with less goals conceded than their next

A wounded animal waiting to bite back…

There are so many reasons already why this should prove to be a really good battle of a game and what we bring to the party, amongst other things, is a desire to somehow banish the nightmare thoughts still vivid in the players minds of last Wednesday’s performance and result in the Champions League. This should be a cracker!

Not quite the 4-6-0 of Pep Guardiola; I recon Martinez will set his side up 4-5-1 today with the on-loan Lukaku up front. And despite the very doubtful (through injury) of Kevin Mirallas and the ineligible Gareth Barry, it throws up the question similar to the Bayern game, should we be thinking about NOT employing a 4-4-2 for this one even though we’re the home side?

Now we shouldn’t necessarily play a reactionary game; setting out our teams wholly dependant on how the opposition set up theirs. But, in the past, it’s often been the midfield work-rate of Everton that has been our undoing…and in Yaya you never know if you’re going to get one of those performances where he looks like an old man with arthritis.

And let’s not forget, most of our ‘first teamers’ were made to run around like loons trying to get the ball for most of the game on Wednesday – there are going to be some very stiff joints and muscles [still] this morning I’m sure. I wouldn’t even be surprised if we didn’t see Sergio on the bench for this one.

And with our manager stating that Jack Rodwell has only just returned to first team training and that Steven Jovetic STILL has a few minor issues, the more I think about it we might HAVE to go with a fluid 4-5-1 / 4-3-3.

So, here’s my predicted line-up for today…










I think he’ll keep faith with Joe in goal but I have a feeling that he’ll pick Lescott ahead of Nastasic for this one. Silva should be fresh as should Zaba and I may have got it wrong not including Milner in the starting 11; don’t be surprised to see him in there for any one of the midfielders / wingers.

If Jovetic doesn’t make the bench, don’t be too surprised to see Marcos Lopes warming up on the touchline throughout the game; the youngster had yet another fine game for the EDS against Bayern in their 6-0 win in midweek; scoring a hat-trick (including 1 penalty).

Subs: Pantilimon, Richards, Nastasic, Milner, Jovetic / Lopes, Aguero, Dzeko.

Type of game and outcome

I think it’ll be a nervy start from our lads; they’ll probably be trying too hard for the first 20 minutes in front of a very expectant crowd who will be looking for a ‘reaction’. We might even go a goal behind, dare I suggest!

But if we play to OUR strengths and remain as calm & focused as Pellegrini appears to be most of the time we should…SHOULD come out of this game with a very valuable 3 points.

Then, for me, it’s straight off to Birmingham for a surprise 50th birthday party (fortunately this game was a 12:45pm KO). And with me not working on Monday or Tuesday, I hope the Blues can start my extended weekend by putting me in a fine mood.

Enjoy the game, keep the faith and thanks as always for taking the time to read…

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