Man City vs. Everton
Venue: Etihad Stadium
Kick off: 4PM
Everton remain in contention for European football heading into their clash with champions Manchester City on the final day of the Premier League season.
The Toffees are positioned eighth in the table and just three points off sixth, while Man City will now have more than one eye on next week’s Champions League final.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side have struggled for consistency pretty much throughout a frustrating 2020-21, yet that has also been the case for each of the teams around them in the table.
Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers, secured through a Richarlison goal, means that Everton can still technically qualify for the Europa League.
However, they trail sixth-placed West Ham United by three points and have a significantly worse goal difference, so seventh place – and a spot in the inaugural Europa Conference League – is the more realistic aim.
For that to be achieved Everton will almost certainly need to beat Man City as Arsenal – one point worse off – are at home to Brighton & Hove Albion, while also hoping Tottenham Hotspur fail to beat Leicester City.
Winning at the Etihad Stadium is no easy feat, of course, especially when taking into account that Everton have not won back-to-back league games since the start of March.
Ancelotti’s men have won just three of their last 11 games since then, though their away form does provide hope of an upset this afternoon, losing just one of their last 14 away from Goodison Park.
However, Everton have lost their last six Premier League games against Man City, only losing more consecutively in the competition against Manchester United (nine between 1999-2004).
City do not exactly have much to play for in their final league game of another impressive campaign, though, having wrapped up a third title in four seasons under Pep Guardiola with three games to spare.
The Citizens’ results over the past five weeks certainly suggest that they have taken their foot off the gas, losing half of their last six league matches – against Leeds United, Chelsea and Brighton & Hove Albion.
The most recent of those defeats at the Amex Stadium left Guardiola a little concerned, with his 10 men throwing away a two-goal lead to lose 3-2.
Guardiola accepted at full time that a big improvement is needed if City are to beat domestic rivals Chelsea in next week’s Champions League final, with this his last chance to get things right ahead of that massive game.
City have lost their final league game in just one of the last 12 seasons, the solitary defeat in that run coming at home to Norwich City in 2012-13.
Man City possible XI: Ederson, Walker, Laporte, Ake, Mendy, De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Rodrigo, Torres, Aguero, Sterling.
Everton possible XI: Pickford, Godfrey, Mina, Keane, Digne, Coleman, Doucoure, Allan, Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin.