Reigning champions Manchester City have been playing catch up to league leaders Liverpool for the last few months. Both teams have missed good opportunities to gain a big advantage over their rival. However, the Citizens have a golden opportunity to return to the top of the table on Wednesday night, as the champions travel to beleaguered Everton.
City should record a comfortable win on Merseyside
In truth, Manchester City should head to Goodison Park in confident mood. Apart from a recent slip-up against Newcastle, Pep Guardiola’s team have been in top form of late. The Citizens have even shown flashes of their formidable form from last season.
City are massive favourites to win at Goodison Park, which in seasons gone by had previously been a tough place to visit for opposition teams. However, such is the low confidence in the Toffees camp it is not the intimidating fortress of the past. One chink of hope for the home team is that City has slipped up against some fellow mid-table and bottom teams in recent months.
Marco Silva under immense pressure
The Everton job was never going to be easy for Portuguese boss Marco Silva. The squad was highly imbalanced after poor recruitment in the previous two transfer windows.
Despite being in a host of new players, the Toffees have struggled for form under Silva. A bright start to the campaign has faded and the Merseysiders now look to have very little to play for after a tame FA Cup exit at Millwall in the fourth round.
A recent run of four wins from their last 14 matches in all competitions has led to question marks about Silva’s managerial acumen and ability to help the team progress in the future.
There are already calls from a certain section of Everton fans for the Toffees to dispense with the services of Silva and hire a new boss. However, the Merseysiders have gone through four different bosses in six years, so there is a need for some continuity.
The problem for Silva at the moment is that the fans are not seeing any progress on the pitch. The former Watford boss needs his players to up their game and he needs a big result to help him win back some credibility amongst the fans.
City win will give them a psychological advantage
A win for Manchester City at Goodison Park on Wednesday night will move the Citizens back to the top of the Premier League table on goal difference. Liverpool will still have played a game fewer in the top-flight, but the psychological advantage will be with the Citizens.
Liverpool have been out in front for what seems like an age, so City returning to the summit will have nerves jangling over at Anfield. Liverpool have looked nervous in their recent top-flight games, so the last thing they would have needed was to be knocked off the top of the table.
Manchester City have let opportunities to gain ground on Liverpool slip through their fingers before. Surely, they will not let this opportunity slip through their fingers too.
Will Manchester City return to the top of the Premier League table on Wednesday night?