Everton vs Manchester City – Statistical Preview

Everton’s top four hopes took a serious dent last weekend with an away defeat to Southampton.  Despite leaving St Mary’s empty handed the Toffees will believe that a Champions League position is not yet out of sight.  Roberto Martinez will want his side to capitalise should Arsenal slip up on their race for fourth place.

 Everton’s fate against Southampton was decided in the first half with two own goals.  Antolin Alcaraz scored at the wrong end within the first minute of the match but went on to be Everton’s busiest defender in the game.  The EA Player Performance index shows that the former Wigan man made 23 defensive contributions (tackles won, blocks, interceptions and clearances), comfortably more than any other Everton player.  The Everton defence will have to be in top form to halt Manchester City this weekend.

 On a quiet day for Everton’s strikers, Romelu Lukaku was the Toffees best hope of finding a goal.  Only Lukaku (3) and Gerard Deulofeu (1) attempted any shots in a game where Everton were largely pinned back. 

Stephen Naismith will be hoping to be more of a presence in front of goal having only one attacking contribution (shots on target, assists, crosses and dribbles) to his name against the Saints.

 Seamus Coleman was the other unlucky member of the Everton team to score an own goal at St Mary’s.  The always-improving full back continued to attack during the game providing the most attacking contributions (5) and most crosses (2).  Coleman will be crucial in both attack and defence in a must-win game for both sides. 

  Manchester City took full advantage of a Liverpool defeat against Chelsea with a convincing 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace.  The crucial win means that should City win their remaining matches the title is likely to be theirs as they boast a superior goal difference over Liverpool.  City will not have it easy as Everton have beaten Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United at home this season.

 Yaya Toure has been a force to be reckoned with for Manchester City this season.  With 19 goals to his name this season and as City’s top goal scorer he shows no sign of slowing down.  The Ivorian assisted Dzeko for the opener against Palace within the first five minutes and wrapped up the victory with a goal just before half time. 

 David Silva was out injured against Palace but Nasri is not a bad replacement for the Spaniard and was instrumental in the City midfield.  The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows Nasri made the most passes and provided the assist for Toure’s goal.  He also made the five attacking contributions, only Sergio Aguero made more (7).  His creativity and ability to pick out a killer pass will be invaluable in unlocking the Everton defence.