November's international break has come at the best possible moment for under-pressure Everton manager Rafael Benitez, handing the Spaniard a fortnight to rally his troops.

The Toffees headed into the international window winless in five straight Premier League fixtures, a run that saw them slide to the bottom half of the table.

Everton's bounce-back ability will face a stern test on Sunday as they travel to the Etihad to take on defending English champions Manchester City with the betting odds heavily favouring the hosts. You could use this bet365 bonus to back Everton getting a draw, or use it elsewhere for this weekend’s games.

Unlike Benitez's side, the Cityzens claimed a well-deserved 2-0 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford on the eve of the international break to recover from a shock 2-0 home defeat to Crystal Palace in late October.

The Merseyside outfit will have to defy their recent Premier League record against Man City if they are to stage an upset at the Etihad and return to winning ways in the Premier League. 

Manchester City vs Everton Head-to-Head

There are several reasons for concern in the Everton camp as they've lost their last seven Premier League encounters against Man City, scoring just five goals while conceding 21 in return. 

Another defeat here would see the Goodison Park side lose eight consecutive Premier League matches against a single opponent for only the second time in their history.

Ominously, though, Man City's cross-town rivals Man United are the only side to have beaten Everton 8+ times in a row since the competition was rebranded in 1992, doing so between December 1999 and February 2004.

Any hopes of avoiding such a scenario will hinge on Everton's ability to stay compact at the back, as they conceded 3+ goals in both last season's top-flight clashes against City. 

Manchester City Preview

The above-mentioned defeat to Palace means Man City could lose back-to-back Premier League fixtures in front of attending home fans for the first time under Pep Guardiola's reign.

It's worth noting that City have already lost four Premier League home matches in 2021 so far, which is only one reverse short of five defeats they suffered at the Etihad in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 combined (5).

Guardiola's failed attempts to land an out-and-out striker in the summer have already come back to haunt him on a couple of occasions this season.

In the absence of an 'old-school' striker, the reigning Premier League champions have failed to find the net in two of their last three top-flight outings at the Etihad.

Man City will target a flying start to get their home league campaign back on track, as they last failed to win a Premier League home match after breaking the deadlock within 15 minutes in September 2020.

Everton Preview

Everton have gone five Premier League fixtures without a win (D2, L3) since beating rock-bottom Norwich City at home in late September, netting one goal or less four times in that run.

Benitez has picked up just one victory from five Premier League matches on the road this term (D2, L2), guiding his side to three straight league travels without winning (D1, L2).

Everton's first-half performances require an improvement, given that only Palace and Aston Villa have netted fewer league goals before half-time than the Toffees (four) this term.

Indeed, far more prolific beyond half-time, Benitez's men have registered 75% of their total Premier League goals scored thus far in the second half of play (12/16).

On a positive note, Everton have tallied 14 Premier League triumphs against the reigning champions, which is more than any other side in England's top-flight history.

Manchester City vs Everton Predicted Line-ups

Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson; Kyle Walker, John Stones, Ruben Dias, Joao Cancelo; Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne; Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez. 

Everton (4-4-1-1): Jordan Pickford; Seamus Coleman, Ben Godfrey, Michael Keane, Lucas Digne; Anthony Gordon, Allan, Fabian Delph, Demarai Gray; Andros Townsend; Richarlison.