Writer: Gavin Cooper
Date:Monday February 25 2008
City of Manchester Stadium
25th February 2008
A real six pointer game at the right end of the table see these two north west teams come head to head in this Euro place battle which will see the victor stamp their belief on that coveted fourth or fifth place.
Michael Ball talks about Everton and this year's away game: "We weren`t at the top of our form and got beat 1-0; we really thought we could have left with at least a point. "But we`ve got a chance now at our place, where the pitch is a bit bigger, play the way we want to play and get at them early doors and come away with the points. "David Moyes has got them playing a style of football that has been successful for them. "With Yakubu going there he looks a bit of a danger and fresh from three goals in Europe he`s going to be a handful. "We just need to worry about our performance and ourselves though. They`ve got to come to us and we`ll be at them from the whistle and they`ve got to stop our players. "Sven Goran Eriksson then talks about Everton: 'I saw Everton on Thursday, they are playing good football, scoring six goals and it will be a very difficult game. David Moyes has been doing a great job with that club, playing in Europe. They have played Champions League as well, which was a fantastic achievement.' 'Everton are having an excellent season and are currently sitting, where they deserve to be in 4th place. I can imagine how pleasing it must be for Everton fans not only to have watched such great football this season, but also to be above their Merseyside rivals at this stage of the campaign'
City are close to full-strength with Elano and Vedran Corluka both available again after serving suspensions. Midfielder Michael Johnson is pushing for a place in the side after returning to training following a two-month lay-off. Valeri Bojinov is missing as he continues his recovery from a serious knee injury. City also have the services of Felipe Caicedo to call on to help bolster the renewed strikeforce that includes the impressive Benjani.
If he can reproduce his form from the derby a week last Sunday, Hibbert or Neville will be given the big run around.
Everton boss David Moyes is set to recall Joseph Yobo to his starting line-up after resting him for the midweek Uefa Cup win over Brann. Mikel Arteta is expected to shake off a groin problem to take his place in midfield with Yakubu Aiyegbeni and Andy Johnson hoping to start together in attack.
He has gone eight games without a goal and his ability to ghost into the box cannot be underestimated.
Everton's record at City is not that great and there has yet to be a draw between the two sides in the premier league when City are at home. City also have one of the best home league records with only one of the big four winning here. Although Everton are on a strong run of six games unbeaten in the league and will want that to continue.
Rob Styles - how this man is still refereeing at this level is beyond me; but this is his second City game this season and he did do a fair job at West Ham in the cup. This will be Everton's third game; both games they won, so maybe third time unlucky?
With City's squad now starting to swell with quality and a week's break; I just think that we will just have too much in our locker for Everton to cope with. City 2 - 0 Everton.
Wigan at home next Saturday 1st March on Setanta with a 5:15pm kick off.
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Date:Monday February 25 2008
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