BOTH teams are expected to make changes ahead of the first leg of the Capital One Cup Semi-final first leg match at Goodison tonight.
Everton ‘keeper Joel Robles will replace first choice Tim Howard whilst captain Phil Jagielka (knee) and midfielder Steven Pienaar (hamstring) are likely to miss out through injury.
City’s joint top scorer Sergio Aguero is set to start but fellow striker Wilfried Bony is injured.
The competition is often used to ‘rotate’ squads but at this stage in the competition, with Wembley in sight, both clubs will be taking it seriously. That doesn’t mean we won’t see some more changes but at least we’ll know both bosses will be less likely to throw in fringe players.
On their way to the semi-final Everton has disposed of Reading, Norwich and Middlesbrough in what has been an up and down season. Highlights have been home wins against Chelsea (3-1), Sunderland (6-2) and Villa (4-0) and a 3-0 win at Southampton but they’ve yet to record a victory against any side in the top 10 of the Premier League.
With that in mind it’s no surprise that Everton are as big as 14/5 (Betfred) to take a first leg lead. City can be backed at 11/10 (BetVictor) whilst the draw is 14/5 (Bet365). If pushed you’d have to side with Manual Pellgrini’s men but we think there could be a better bet when it comes to goals.
Despite some indifferent form the Toffees have scored in 12 consecutive matches, last drawing a blank v Man United on October 17th. Surprisingly that’s more impressive than Man City who have failed to score in 4 of their last 12 matches. However, it’s worth pointing out the loss of fit-again Sergio Aguero to injury has been keenly felt during that time. That said, City are highest scorers in the Premier League with 39 goals in 20 matches – a rate of almost 2 per game.
Last night’s semi-final was fairly open, despite the 1-0 scoreline, and we expect the same under the lights at Goodison tonight. Over 2.5 goals is priced up a bit too short for our liking at 4/6 (Paddy Power) as is both teams to score at 4/7 (Betfred) so we’ll go with City to win and both teams to score at 5/2 with Bet365.