With almost the whole squad fit – particularly the first 11 who have started the season so very well – expect few, if any, changes for our trip to Goodison Park.
Same intensity is essential
Although we’ve managed 4 points from our last 2 visits to Everton under Manuel Pellegrini; the home of The Toffees always seems to have City fans slightly on edge. And despite our exceptional performances in our opening 2 games this season – not least a fine, 3-0 win over last season’s champions last Sunday – this trip to the blue of Merseyside is no exception.
|Fly-by protest banner over St. Mary's|
Roberto Martinez has, for me, carried on Everton’s trait of many-a-season; having one good campaign then a very mediocre / disappointing one. For that - and for the fact that many Everton fans are becoming somewhat restless of late at their board not-spending enough cash on 'team improvements' - the club's Management have come under increasing flack of late from a section of Evertonians.
|Olive / Army green, orange & black?! Mmmmm...|
The team’s / manager’s response? 2 games, 4 points and 5 goals scored; including an impressive 0-3 victory at St Mary’s last time out…albeit in an AWFUL away kit! Ominously, Romelu Lukaku also looks to have the 'bit between his teeth' early on this season…
So we’ll need to continue to be ‘at it’ if we want to maintain our 100% start to the season…and equal a club record of eight-straight-league-wins at the same time.
Predicted line-up, subs and outcome…
4-5-1 come 4-3-3:
It was virtually a ‘copy & paste’ moment to stick that bit in!
There’s a good argument to change things…even if only a ‘little tinkering’ to keep the opposition manager on his toes even more; as Roberto will no-doubt have been pouring over footage of a team in such fine form, so-as-to prepare as much as possible to try ‘n’ deal with it.
But we’re playing SO well at the moment that it’s just ‘same again’ really – the only difference is that we might see new signing Nicolas Otamendi get a ‘bench spot’. Also…
Notable absences: Pablo Zabaleta (Injured – for 1 month+ with knee-ligament damage), Fabian Delph (recovering his fitness but only re-joined squad-training on Wednesday) and Fernando (not selected).
Result? Keep it tight ‘n’ organised at the back and continue, also, to play as wonderfully as an attacking force; then we should be looking at the table at around 6:00pm (BST) on Sunday with 9 points next to our team’s name.
Everton might be the first to breach our back-line but this, for me, is an away win.