08/02/2024 114comments  |  Jump to last
Match Preview

Amadou Onana returned to full training this week and is expected to be in contention for a place in the side after missing the last two games with a knee injury

Everton could have Amadou Onana back in the side for this weekend’s trip to the Etihad Stadium to face reigning champions and treble winners, Manchester City.

The Belgian missed the goalless draw at Fulham and last Saturday’s 2-2 with Tottenham with fluid on his knee from a knock he picked up in the cup tie against Luton but has returned to first team training and is likely to be in contention for a place in the team.

Abdoulaye Doucouré is also “back on the grass”, in Sean Dyche’s favoured, parlance but while the manager reported that the Frenchman is making good progress, Saturday’s game will come too soon for him.

A more likely target for Doucouré will be the more important home clash with struggling Crystal Palace under the lights at Goodison Park on 19 February.

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Arnaut Danjuma and André Gomes are ruled out, but both Séamus Coleman and Ashley Young continue to build their fitness and both could start this weekend.

City, for their part, are close to full strength, with Erling Haaland, and Kevin de Bruyne back in the lineup while Phil Foden is in ominous form, having scored a hat-trick at Brentford on Monday night.

That win brought Pep Guardiola’s team to within two points of Liverpool at the top of the Premier League, so, with the bit very much between their teeth, City are unlikely to take their foot off the pedal to any degree against the Toffees.

Given the Manchester side’s dominance of domestic English football for match of the past decade, it is no surprise that Everton have not won on this ground in that time.

Indeed, you have to go back to December 2010 for the last time Everton came away from this part of Manchester with all three points but they did gut out a draw in this fixture last season, courtesy of a worldie from Damarai Gray, and Dyche will no doubt set his team out to defend stoutly just as Frank Lampard did that New Year’s Eve fixture at the end of 2022.

Then it’s just a case of hoping to carve something out on the break or from set-pieces in the hope of becoming one of the few sides to upset the Guardiola machine on their own turf.

Dyche, himself, will, of course, not be taking up his customary place in the manager's technical area having picked up a one-game touchline ban for picking up his third booking of the season.

He called for more understanding from the referees when it comes to coaches contesting decisions from the sidelines.

"I think there should be a bit more tolerance," Dyche said. "The fourth official is there and if deep down they are thinking the referee might have that one wrong, I don't see why you are booked for it.

"That's the moment when they should use a bit of their game understanding and say 'OK, he maybe got that one wrong but we need you to stay in the technical area'.

"I think that can be a calming down moment."

Kick-off: 12:30pm, Saturday 10 February, 2024
Referee: John Brooks
VAR: Michael Oliver
Last Time: Manchester City 1 - 1 Everton

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko, Gueye, Garner, Young, McNeil, Harrison, Calvert-Lewin


Reader Comments (114)

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Liam Heffernan
1 Posted 08/02/2024 at 18:35:03
I'll watch this and hope for the best but prepare for the worst (with a box of Kleenex). COYB
Tom Cannon
2 Posted 08/02/2024 at 18:47:45
I decided to wear my Mystic Meg hat today and make a prediction about this game.

In the “unlikely” event that we fall behind by more than two goals, we will be awarded the softest penalty ever – proving to everyone's satisfaction (especially the Premier League hierarchy) that it is just a matter of luck that we are one of only 3 teams in Europe's top leagues not to have been awarded a penalty this season.

If we don't fall behind sufficiently to justify this award, should this situation arise at Anfield, my crystal ball suggests this miracle of a soft penalty will occur, proving once again how fair and honest the Premier League is …

Colin Glassar
3 Posted 08/02/2024 at 18:52:35
I'd rest half of the team and call in Paul McKenna to sort out the other half, psychologically, after the game.
John Keating
4 Posted 08/02/2024 at 18:55:19
Realistically, the hope is our goal difference doesn't take a big hit.

If any players are in any way doubtful for the game due to injury or recovering from injury, better give them the extra 9-day break to be fully recovered for a far more winnable game at home to Crystal Palace.

John Pendleton
5 Posted 08/02/2024 at 19:00:16
Kleenex, Liam?

Then again, Man City do play sexy football.

Each to their own, I suppose.

Danny O’Neill
6 Posted 08/02/2024 at 20:53:19
Any game of football can be won regardless of the opponent.

I remember driving down the Brenner Pass in northern Italy in 2017 and receiving numerous text messages that we had beaten City 4-0.

Anything is possible in football.

Billy Bradshaw
7 Posted 08/02/2024 at 21:03:13
Texting while driving, naughty naughty.
Danny O’Neill
8 Posted 08/02/2024 at 21:08:50
It's Italy.

Anything goes!

Dave Lynch
9 Posted 08/02/2024 at 21:14:18
I'll be brutally honest and thjnk we'll get a good hiding.

Man City are light years ahead of us and after a dodgy run by their standards have started to find that irresistible touch again.

Haaland is back and looking keen as well... sorry but I have no faith. 😔

Derek Knox
10 Posted 08/02/2024 at 21:17:08
Thinking positive here, City get complacent, thinking it's only toothless Everton we are playing here, rest most of the first team, then… Wham! Bam! Thank you, man, someone scores for us!

Nurse, Nurse!

Dave Abrahams
11 Posted 08/02/2024 at 21:30:43
Thinking logically, Man City must win this game as they did at Goodison before Christmas but we held them until the hooky penalty, we missed a decent chance to level after that but we were still in the game until the third goal.

Same as last season at their ground, logic got kicked up their backside when Gray smashed in an equaliser and we came home with a point.

Newcastle held out until the final minute when VAR took over and City got the points just a couple of weeks ago and they battered Brentford the other night but overcame a few frights before Foden took over the game.

It's right to think logically but even logic comes unstuck now and again.

Roger Helm
12 Posted 08/02/2024 at 21:37:06
The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong…(Ecclesiastes).

We'll probably have 20 per cent possession, but as they say, it's a funny old game – with a bit of luck, and an off day by City, who knows?

Paul Birmingham
14 Posted 08/02/2024 at 22:06:40
All considered, and with the early kick-off, Everton if they turn up and believe can surprise City.

They seem more balanced with De Bruyne playing and for me to stop him spraying his killer passes showing him no time and space. Easier said than done, with their off-the-ball movement.

But they've got Foden, who is a very good natural footballer and Haaland. So block and stop their runs. But Everton must take their chances. Calvert-Lewin to get back scoring and anything can happen.

Godfrey got Haaland rattled last season and hopefully he plays as well again on Saturday.

Every day is massive off and on the park for Everton. Hopefully to build on from the Spurs game.

Praying for some good news regards the appeal but to upset the odds would be fitting against a club who it would seem has diplomatic immunity from 2009 to the present in terms of breaching financial rules and not being punished, by the Premier League.

I heard on the radio today about blue cards for sin bin offences being scoped for use in football.

Get the referees to get the basics and the VAR right before adding more chaos to the game.


Mike Doyle
15 Posted 08/02/2024 at 22:59:15
Hoping we put up a valiant defence but, whatever the result, we will get to see our boys compete against De Breune, Foden & Bernardo Silva - 3 exceptional players.
Colin Metcalfe
16 Posted 08/02/2024 at 23:12:42
Let's not beat around the bush – we are going to get smashed, we are simply not on their level as blood sweat and tears can only get you so far and City have so many class players.

However, we do have many winnable games especially at home over the next few months. I am quite confident we will be clear of the Bottom 3 by some distance come April.

Si Cooper
17 Posted 08/02/2024 at 23:52:54
Actually the sort of game the players can kind of look forward to in a weird way. Stay calm and stay competitive and the players could get something from the game even if we don’t ultimately win.
I think generally we have enough mobility at the back to not be shredded endlessly as long as the players are focussed for the full game.
Our midfield options will make a fair bit of difference if our best players deliver on their potential. They simply have to be really difficult to play through and not waste any opportunity to capitalise on turnover ball.
Andy Crooks
18 Posted 09/02/2024 at 00:34:50
We're not going to get smashed and if I believed we were I wouldn't be posting my prediction on here. I can see the reason why some do, though. It's like preparing for disaster in the hope of being ready when it happens and maybe being wrong.
When I check the latest score on match day I prepare for being three down at half time. Then 1-2 seems a bonus. This week I see the worst out come as an unlucky defeat. Which is actually harder to cope with than getting smashed.
This is what Everton do to you!
Bill Gienapp
19 Posted 09/02/2024 at 00:57:16
Expectations not high, but we somehow managed to pinch a draw on their ground last season while Lampard was in his death spiral, so you never know.
Laurie Hartley
20 Posted 09/02/2024 at 02:20:15
Wouldn’t be surprised if we get something from this game.

I hope we go 451:-

Godfrey, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko
Harrison,Gueye, Garner, Onana, McNeill

Let us hope Gueye & Garner play as well as they did against Spurs, and Onana rises to the occasion.

Darryl Ritchie
21 Posted 09/02/2024 at 03:14:09
No body, except maybe diehard Toffees, expects us to get anything from this match.

In an odd way, it may be just what the squad needs.


They can relax and enjoy the game. If they lose, no biggie. They were supposed to. But if they surprise the “experts”, and get a point, or, dare to dream, 3, it could be a turning point in the season.

Jerome Shields
23 Posted 09/02/2024 at 04:30:29
I think that Everton could get something out of this game with a bit of luck.The Palace game is a more important game and keeping Doucoure right for that is necessary.

De Bruye has to be tracked.Onana back is needed to bolster midfield.He played well against City the last time.

Ajay Gopal
24 Posted 09/02/2024 at 04:51:51
Tom (2), funnily, I was thinking the exact same thing! The 'Everton haven't got a penalty' noise is getting louder and louder for the PL's comfort, so they gather the refs before the game and say and say - 'Hey listen, if Man City are leading 3-0 in extra time, blow your whistle for a penalty even if the Everton player goes down with a cramp in the centre circle. You got that?"

On a serious note, get Garner to man-mark De Bruyne, and Godfrey on Haaland and Harrison on Foden. I would start Dobbin instead of McNeil, because his speed can cause problems to Man City on the counter. Doucoure will be. a big miss just for the incredible yards that he puts in. Sadly, the two teams are at very different levels, but in football, nothing is permanent.

Coleman Godfrey Tarkowski Branthwaite Mykolenko
Harrison Gueye Garner
Calvert-Lewin Dobbin

Calvert-Lewin to score. 1-0

Jim Bennings
25 Posted 09/02/2024 at 06:04:31
If there's any such thing as a free hit game this is it.

The likes of Branthwaite will put himself in the shop window if he can perform well against Haaland.

The Palace game is the bigger of the two as it's sandwiched between this game and then Brighton away.

Losing to Palace would be far more damaging in the long run than losing tomorrow.

Tony Graham
26 Posted 09/02/2024 at 08:12:56
Got to admire people that think we can get anything from this game. Even playing poorly, they are on a different level entirely. Another loss, hope it’s not too heavy..
Duncan McDine
27 Posted 09/02/2024 at 08:19:09
Well of course it is possible to get something from the game... just like it's possible to throw Yatzee on your first throw! Statistically, I'm not sure which has the longer odds.

Man City as usual seem to be finding their best form late in the season and we're not as effective as we have been earlier in the season. Gotta hope for something though.

Danny O’Neill
28 Posted 09/02/2024 at 08:54:29
If you can't go into a football match thinking you can win, then don't play.

Those players who have the honour of crossing that white line will be going out to win.

Sharp at Anfield.

The Elland Road semi-final followed by defeating Manchester United for our last trophy against the expectation of many.

They may be the best team in the league. But the best teams get beaten.

If anyone is not up for it, let me know.

I'll follow this club no matter what they do to my emotions.

David Bromwell
29 Posted 09/02/2024 at 09:15:14
I often find Man City’s football quite boring as they keep position and endlessly pass the ball between their team mates. Trouble is, when they eventually make the killer pass, they have any number of players who can score.

We have neither of these skills. So I expect us to play with a packed midfield and defence, with the odd quick break into their half. Essentially that's how Brentford played the other evening, and for most part it worked okay except that they had no answer to the brilliance of Phil Foden.

As usual, I expect we will try to put them under pressure, from corners and free-kicks. Hopefully this will bring some reward. But we have to get to their penalty area in the first place, and I am not sure who we have got to assist Calvert-Lewin.

Strangely, I thought our friend Maupay is playing okay in just that roll. At best I think we could play Dobbin, Harrison and Beto in succession, to create some confusion and maintain energy levels. None of these three have the skill or stamina to survive the full 90 minutes.

Finally I do hope that Ben Godfrey gets a game. He looked to me to be back to his old self last week. His speed, energy and commitment were back and will be needed tomorrow.

Mark Murphy
30 Posted 09/02/2024 at 09:17:24
Good lad, Danny, you can say in a hundred words what I can only manage in four — Up The Fucking Toffees.

See you at Brighton where loads gave us no chance last season. (I’m still looking for a ticket, btw…)

Dave Cashen
31 Posted 09/02/2024 at 09:29:22
I don't think anybody would deny City are a fantastic team with top class players in every position, but we didnt draw by accident last time we visited The Etihad. This is the type of game which will bring out the best in some of our players.

We have a goalkeeper who can make a string of great saves when under the cosh

We have a full back described by Carlo Ancelotti as his finest captain - What an accolade

A center half, who may not be the best footballer, but who is the epitome of defiance.

We have the best young central defender in the country.

We also have a left back who's is improving by the hour.

We know all about City and what they are capable of, but let's see if they can overcome what will be fierce resistance, before we present them with the points.

We need points. Tomorrow isnt to be dreaded, it`s to be welcomed as an opportunity.

Jonathan Tasker
32 Posted 09/02/2024 at 09:50:13
Remember tomorrow when we get beaten that Kenwright refused to meet the people that bought city. He knew they’d boot him out if they bought Everton
Brian Harrison
33 Posted 09/02/2024 at 10:09:14
A tough game that will need 100% concentration from every player for us to get anything from this game. I see Michael Oliver is on VAR so can expect everything we do to be scrutinised and given he was rightly booed off at Goodison last week, then expect lots of interventions from him.

I remember Shankly commenting on changes to the rules and he said this game has been going for 100 years and its been fine so why change the rules. Now we hear the powers that be are going to trial blue cards which is a type of sin bin. As if the game isn't stop start enough we will now have something else for the ref and VAR to consider. Most post match interviews with managers are more about the ref or VAR than with the actual game. For me the game is completely spoilt for match going fans, as most goals scored are now checked and the fans have to sit through 4 or 5 minutes of waiting to see what the decision is. The spontaneity of celebrating a goal has gone now in most cases, that has been the biggest let down. I hear Leicester and Southampton fans and Leeds fans saying how enjoyable Championship football is without VAR.

Barry Rathbone
34 Posted 09/02/2024 at 10:23:35
The likely loss to City at least throws a spanner into the works at Anfield - every cloud
John Raftery
35 Posted 09/02/2024 at 10:28:34
Brian (33) I share your concerns about Oliver on VAR. As someone said to me last week, you prefer him to be on the pitch where you can at least keep an eye on him!
Andy Crooks
36 Posted 09/02/2024 at 10:34:52
Spot on, Dave Cashen!
Jim Wilson
37 Posted 09/02/2024 at 10:56:22
Talk about a bad penny.
Oliver is back again, this time on VAR.
I know we definitely won't get one but do we even have a nominated penalty taker these days?
Danny O’Neill
38 Posted 09/02/2024 at 11:04:25
Dave, we walk on that pitch and into the stands with belief. We can get something and the players will think that.
Pat Kelly
39 Posted 09/02/2024 at 11:12:57
Didn’t really expect anything against Spurs. We will need to show the same determination and take the chances we get. The usual planks we play up front can’t do it so we will need a goal(s) from elsewhere if we are to get anything from the game.
Pete Jeffries
41 Posted 09/02/2024 at 11:50:06
Make no bones about it they are a great team.
When they get possession they keep it and somehow can hypnotise the opposition who either just stand around watching or run chasing shadows.
Meanwhile no touches of the ball means you are waiting for their mistake and then stale whenever you do get the ball.
Its a lot of Pep psychology.
Brentford had a go and like us at Goodison,City didn't like it.
But you have to go at them for 90 mins, not easy.
Mark Ryan
42 Posted 09/02/2024 at 12:25:10
They need to believe they can win. That's the starting point. Will they win? nobody knows for sure but you have to believe.

Just watched the Netflix rugby documentary Full Contact about last year's Six Nations. The mentality of some of those players is woeful. Having to dial into a one-to-one, face-to-face with a mental health Wellbeing coach saying "I'm nervous, I get butterflies!"

Some of them were done before they crossed the white line. You have to believe. We are all flesh, blood and bone. Believe you can win, get into them, make them have doubts and overcome them both physically and mentally.

Neil Lawson
43 Posted 09/02/2024 at 12:34:01
Just wish it wasn't on tele. I don't believe in miracles. Just need to avoid a pasting and hope that Luton and Forest etc al don't pick up points (and/or that our 10 are returned soon).

As posted above, a soft penalty has been ordered by the Premier League for when we are 3 or 4 down.

Danny O’Neill
44 Posted 09/02/2024 at 12:39:51
This will likely get moved to the match day forum.

Not Everton related, but an intriguing match in the Bundesliga tomorrow.

League leaders Leverkusen against second placed Bayern. A two horse race with them both clear from the pack.

And the probable next Liverpool manager leading Leverkusen.

Rob Halligan
45 Posted 09/02/2024 at 13:22:35
I see John Brooks is the referee for tomorrow. He was also the referee for the home game against Man City, the same one who initially gave a corner for the Onana handball, before two seconds later giving the penalty on the advice of the linesman, because surely the VAR could not even have been that quick in looking at the handball.

Pretty certain Oliver was the VAR that night as well, so that's probably why the VAR didn't get involved.

John Hall
46 Posted 09/02/2024 at 13:26:43
It's the Brooks and Oliver hate Everton show tomorrow. I hope they can keep it down to 5-0… (Although that's probably the bet they put down at Ladbrokes, the corrupt gits!!)
Niall McIlhone
47 Posted 09/02/2024 at 14:15:32
Well said, Dave Cashen (#31). This City side as superb, but then, our defensive players are on excellent form, and we have picked up unexpected draws at the Etihad in recent seasons. They will not be comfortable if Everton can work the set pieces, and we have to be canny in the event a set piece comes our way.
In the even that we have a penalty shout
( I know!) our Captain should be on to the ref-with all speed - other players appealing vigorously from a measured distance, hands across chest. It's a "game within a game", Everton have to be more assertive in these situations both home and away.
Man United under Ferguson probably added 10 points plus to their season totals by haranguing referees for every slight advantage. We should do the same. Who cares if other clubs take umbrage?
Kevin Edward
48 Posted 09/02/2024 at 14:18:37
I believe we can go to the Etihad without any fear of getting a thrashing.
We won’t have the ball much, but we do like a set piece or two.
When they score (no doubt they will) then don’t panic, soak up the pressure and get a stoppage time equaliser and come away with a point.
If it all goes wrong then at least it’s a game to put behind us. I wouldn’t want to go there in April or May.
Barry Rathbone
49 Posted 09/02/2024 at 14:37:22
The only hope is City see us as non entities and don't take us seriously, a flaw they do exhibit on occasion.

But we have to bring our "A" game

Andy Crooks
50 Posted 09/02/2024 at 14:49:23
We haven't been the school of soccer science for a long, long time. Therefore, we should just kick lumps out of them. Wind them up, scare them make it an appalling 90 minutes.
Even that takes planning! We need to take it in turns! ( Heaven forbid we should get a red card)
If we do get a red...make it count!!
Stephen Davies
51 Posted 09/02/2024 at 15:21:11
Ajay #24
Godfrey & Young
Mike Connolly
52 Posted 09/02/2024 at 15:41:51
Andy if only we had a player to wind them up. Wounder what Maupy is doing?
Andy Crooks
53 Posted 09/02/2024 at 16:38:57
Doing really well is what he's doing, Mike. It's horses for courses and the track at Goodison park doesn't seem to suit many. Certainly not thoroughbreds! We'd have a Derby winner in a three mile chase.
Tony Abrahams
54 Posted 09/02/2024 at 17:09:28
Two of the softest penalties I have ever seen were both given by Michael Oliver against Everton, at the etihad. One was for an alleged shove by Fellaini, and one when Jagielka, was alleged to have been on the wrong side of a City player on the very corner, of the edge of the box.

The man is a corrupt fucker, and nobody will be able to convince me otherwise. If anyone could find the decision I’ve just mentioned involving Jagielka, and compare it to the cynical foul on Beto, which had him waving play on last week, then this would just confirm my argument.

Michael Oliver has been getting away with it for years imo.

Jay Harris
55 Posted 09/02/2024 at 17:25:55
Determination and effort are the minimum requirements tomorrow.

A couple of goals and keeping 11 men on the pitch might help too.

We won't get anything off anyone else but ourselves so it's us against the world again. Let's get that siege mentality going again.

Mike Morgan
56 Posted 09/02/2024 at 17:50:40
Thinking back to the point we secured v City when Dem Gray scored a wonder goal. I wish we still had him. He could have; played in the 10 role we are missing with Doucouré out and been rotated with McNeil and Harrison. I remember him being played out of position at CF and putting a real shift in. He also had a goal threat. I think Dyche wanted to keep him. But Gerrard unsettled him and again caused damage to Everton after the stitch up of taking Digne our best goal creator and the player that made DCL tick to Villa.
Jeff Armstrong
57 Posted 09/02/2024 at 18:07:40
Mike 56, Gray wanted out and was disruptive, he wanted the move to Saudi for financial reasons, he was a 1 in 10 player anyway, we’ve got enough of those.
Rob Halligan
58 Posted 09/02/2024 at 18:28:50
Tony # 54…..I can’t remember Man City getting too many penalties against us at The Etihad, but I’m sure everyone remembers the two they got in the same game, and both were saved by Martin Stekelenburg. Guess who the referee was, and Jaglelka gave both penalties away.


Dale Self
59 Posted 09/02/2024 at 18:56:45
We were up 1-0 at halftime in the fixture at home so we could cause problems. I suspect we will dig in for the first half. As City press for their expected goal Dyche will likely do something drastic (I know, stay with me). He knows the team is tired and now trusts some of the replacements. I think he will pick 10-12 minutes of the second half to go for it and then pull back. UTGDMFT!!!!!
Paul Kossoff
60 Posted 09/02/2024 at 19:07:03
This game will show if Dyche is a tactically aware manager or just a lucky p e teacher. We get away with a draw, or a win or a narrow defeat then Dyche has done his job. We get battered, out fought, played off the pitch will show Dyche up as second rate. You put eleven men behind the ball and tell them no gung-ho out of position every ones a striker bull, then we may get a result. Try and attack city with no structured play then we'll get battered.
Dale Self
61 Posted 09/02/2024 at 19:12:31
That post will show if someone watches the game or just checks results waiting for the slag.
Paul Ferry
62 Posted 09/02/2024 at 19:21:55
Dear God. Jonathan (Tasker: 32): “Remember tomorrow when we get beaten”. What is the point of posting this defeatest crap, unless it’s preparing the ground to pop on tomorrow with a “told yer so”?

Well said Dave (Cashen: 31), that’s the stuff and spriit, neither hysterical or Taskerish, but nicely measured. Rule nothing out in other words.

Paul (Kossoff: 60): wrong, Man City away is not the time or place to judge either Dyche or our team, but don’t let that stop you (preparing the ground to pop on tomorrow with a “told yer so”?)

As Danny says: we go there as we did last season, we plan, put in a good shift (hopefully), and let’s see what happens.

What point on earth does Taskerism serve?

Rob Halligan
63 Posted 09/02/2024 at 19:26:17

Jonathan Tasker kept on telling us for about two or three years that “There's No new stadium”, so whatever he says I'd totally ignore.

Jeff Armstrong
64 Posted 09/02/2024 at 19:34:52
Dale 61 I think this quite often, but tonight I’m gonna ask,

which post are you referring to ?

Paul Ferry
65 Posted 09/02/2024 at 19:36:23
I haven't forgotten that Rob mate. JT's dark and gloomy drumbeat has been part of ToffeeWeb's noise and music for as long as I can remember. Even when the thread had absolutely nothing to do with the palace on the dock he would thrown in a "it will never be built".

Let's hope JT is wrong about tomorrow as well.

Have a great day tomorrow Rob and bring a point or three back to The Rocket.

Tony Abrahams
66 Posted 09/02/2024 at 19:37:20
That man from Northumberland, Rob!

Has Oliver ever refereed Newcastle, or has he ruled himself out by swearing allegiance to those GEORDIE MAGGOTS?

Brian Wilkinson
67 Posted 09/02/2024 at 19:39:46
These barstewards are laughing at us, the arrogance of being punished while they continue to do as they please.

Even if it means doing our neighbours a favour, as well as ourselves, I hope we turn up at their place tomorrow and get a result.

I know we are playing a team that has been allowed to get away with assembling such a team, we are up against Var, officials, the lot, but if we can put a performance in, I would love us to get a result there.

Those of you with the the tin helmets on and white flag raised already, shame on you, time for this team to fight back and knock the arrogance out of the City team, and it’s supporters, get behind the team

Up the Toffees.

Dave Abrahams
68 Posted 09/02/2024 at 19:41:36
Rob (58), Yes that was another 1-1 draw with Lukaku scoring a breakaway goal if I’m not mistaken.
David West
69 Posted 09/02/2024 at 19:51:23
I always believe this side plays better when we are up against a team that attacks us.

We are best when countering, long balls to runners in behind is where we caused Spurs issues. If we can soak a bit up and give them a headache behind, we may make a game of this.
We don't find it easy when teams sit back with our lack of creativity, so I'd expect a tough match, where the longer we keep them at bay, the more chances will materialise for us. We won't get many so putting chances away will be critical (not our strong point)

I don't give a shit if it hands the RS an advantage in the leauge, I'm focusing on us, getting points for us, keeping us up.
Some more interested in resting players and just rolling over!!
Nah, we usually give these a good game and we are due a win !!
UTFT !!!!

Rob Halligan
70 Posted 09/02/2024 at 20:00:29

There are 3000 travelling to the Etihad tomorrow, and I doubt there are many who will be travelling with a defeatist attitude. The manager, his backroom staff and certainly the players will not be entertaining thoughts of a defeat. If we lose, then lose with effort, commitment and determination. If we draw or win, then it's all back to the Fiveways for the afternoon. In fact it's all back to the Fiveways anyway!

As mentioned earlier in this thread, we went there last season with confidence probably at an all time low, and Frank Lampard staring down the barrel of a gun, yet we kept City pretty much at arms length, with Haaland losing his rag because he couldn't get his own way, culminating in a vicious challenge on Mykolenko which could easily have resulted in a red card.

A stunning equaliser from Demarai Gray gave us an unlikely point, considering how low our confidence was, so I see no reason why tomorrow we cannot go there and get something, with confidence being a lot better than what it was last season. If we lose, then we lose, but no shame in losing to the best team in the world.

David West
71 Posted 09/02/2024 at 20:03:03
Paul 60. Bit harsh to be judging Dyche on a match against treble winners.

Probably the best team ensembled in the PL.

We could do everything tactically right and still City's quality could shine through and We get a heavy defeat.

City's quality just overpowering us, would this still make Dyche a "PE teacher " ??

The 3-0 at wolves or the 4-0 at villa, Yes I can understand, but we could be playing our best game against these tomorrow and still lose 5-0 that's how good they are, it's not a judgement of how bad Dyche is .

Bill Hawker
72 Posted 09/02/2024 at 20:21:57
This one's gonna be ugly with a capital U.

After watching our inept defending against Richarlison and Spurs, I'm hoping we only lose 3-0.

David West
73 Posted 09/02/2024 at 20:49:17
Eyes like a Hawker, you Bill, insightful.

Both Spurs and Richarlison's goals were top class, not so much poor defending.

A team who scored in every match for 30 games if I'm right. Top 4 or 5, good result in my eyes, but hey now you can come back tomorrow and say how knowledgeable you are and say I told you all, if we lose to the European & English Champions with the most expensive squad ever.

Where did you get your inside information???

Paul Ferry
74 Posted 09/02/2024 at 20:54:19
Top post, Bill Hawker (72), an intelligent insightful, and thoughtful extended consideration of each and every aspect of tomorrow's game.

Top drawer stuff.

Brian Wilkinson
75 Posted 09/02/2024 at 21:29:04
Rob@70 that’s the way mate give them hell tomorrow.

I’m looking forward to the first 50/50 challange between Tarkowski and Haaland, after what Haaland did on Godfrey last season, if I was Tarks, I would get into his ear from the off, bit of gamesmanship, and clatter him with a hard but fair tackle.

Dale Self
76 Posted 09/02/2024 at 21:39:57
Jeff 64, it was Paul Kossof 60. Sorry for the vague offering but I try to not go too direct on my grumbling anymore.
Jeff Armstrong
77 Posted 09/02/2024 at 22:02:09
Dale 76, thanks for the clarification, I do take notice of your grumblings and indeed vagueness but its nice to nail it to a post that you particularly want to make a point about.

I just wondered who was waiting for the the slag?( Liverpudlian slang for a loose woman)and who the slag was?

You just lost me a bit there.(not difficult tbh)


Neil Copeland
78 Posted 09/02/2024 at 22:08:20
Rob #70, spot on mate.
Mike Gaynes
79 Posted 09/02/2024 at 22:35:53
Rob #70, I know you lads will make yourselves heard, and I'll be listening!
Neil Copeland
80 Posted 09/02/2024 at 22:40:14
Mike, loud and proud as always
Dale Self
81 Posted 09/02/2024 at 22:43:07
Jeff, you know English is my second language. I meant ‘waiting to slag’ I guess. UTFT!
Tom Bowers
82 Posted 09/02/2024 at 22:51:59
Oliver doing VAR pffffff !

Anyway we are on a hiding to nothing tomorrow on paper at least and not wanting to do RS any favors there is always the chance of a miracle.

Onana, if he plays isn't going to bolster the midfield much and it will be a backs to the wall operation.

Our awful lack of offensive prowess leads only to a set piece way of scoring and Onana's height might worry City (if we manage to get some set-pieces)

However, no matter what happens, that next game against woeful Palace is surely a game they simply must win.

Matt Byrne
83 Posted 09/02/2024 at 23:03:57
Well said Brian at 45. Hard to roughen up one of the sky 6 on their own patch as the refs will brandish cards as quick as a flash. Get unlikely players to give Haaland a gentle kick, such as Harrison or McNeil who can survive the game on a yellow card. Get Godfrey to do his wind up thing again. Try and win corners and free kicks and get that ball in the box. We need to not panic if Luton beat Sheff Utd and we lose and we fall further behind. We have plenty of winnable games left. Show the same energy and zip as we did first half last week v Spurs and who knows?
Will Mabon
84 Posted 09/02/2024 at 23:11:17
The tide always turns eventually in football, even if only for a day.

Tomorrow may be that day.

Sam Hoare
85 Posted 09/02/2024 at 23:11:58
It’s a free hit in many ways. Though City will have 80% of the possession and it’s very hard to keep a team with that much quality out for too long.

Hopefully we can nick one off a counter or set piece. Am hoping for 1-1.

Steve Brown
86 Posted 10/02/2024 at 01:00:15
Sam, here is Ian Woan in the Athletic:

“I’m not a zealot to stats whatsoever, but they’re a marker. Catching up on our xG is key for us.”

Sam 1 XG Sceptics 0!

Paul Kossoff
87 Posted 10/02/2024 at 01:44:46
Dale, You love to slag off as I do. I had a season ticket at Goodison since aged seven. Whole family of Everton supporters. I only let my ticket go due to ill health.
Man City 1 Everton 2. I hope.

Dale Self
88 Posted 10/02/2024 at 01:55:23
A lucky PE teacher Paul? Come on maaan.
Mike Connolly
89 Posted 10/02/2024 at 04:15:38
don't know why everyone is worried about the officials who ever we get are corrupt. I suppose it dosent help when they get booded at Goodison when their name is announced. Like someone said its us aginst the world UTFT. I'm hoping for a jammy 1-0 win of betto's backside in the 150 minute...as the ref was waiting for City to score
Paul Ferry
90 Posted 10/02/2024 at 06:43:23
Sorry to hear about your health Paul K - 87. It must be something on the serious side to make you give up your season ticket. All the best to you mate.
Kim Vivian
91 Posted 10/02/2024 at 08:27:22
It may be a blessing in disguise but I'm not able to watch this today as I'm at Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras) in Hastings. I shall of course be following closely but whilst forever hopeful, expect a battering. I think coming through without any injuries or red cards will be a result. A point will feel like a lottery win.
Garry Martin
92 Posted 10/02/2024 at 08:41:48
Can't see us getting goals today and we will probably concede goals, therefore, for me, its about protecting our goal difference, end of season it could prove vitally important.
Tony Abrahams
93 Posted 10/02/2024 at 08:47:19
4-4-2. A goalkeeper, ten defenders, and only two or three attackers, whatever develops during those ninety minutes!
Danny Baily
94 Posted 10/02/2024 at 08:51:21
We're a half decent, mid table side, regardless of what the corrupted league table says. We can be solid defensively, and can score goals with very little possession on our day. There's every chance we can turn these over.
Tony Abrahams
95 Posted 10/02/2024 at 09:07:02
I think the two best performances I have seen by an away team at Goodison in the last few years, were given by Liverpool, when Benitez was our manager, and by Man City, just over six weeks ago.

Liverpool blew us away, then we got a goal, had a little go for a bit and might have even got a result, only for a mistake by Seamus Coleman.

Man City were absolutely brilliant, playing inside a stadium that was blowing an absolute gale, and were obviously buoyed by just becoming World champions, and yet this Everton team were really competing, until the linesman awarded City a penalty.

My worry is that our players are very tired, and it’s why I’ve advocated resting most of them, but this isn’t going to happen, and because it’s highly unlikely that City, will play as well as they did at Goodison, imo, (just a hunch) let’s get eleven men behind the ball, make things hard and compete!

Ian Riley
96 Posted 10/02/2024 at 09:08:05
Yes, Danny your right but we need city to have an off day. I feel city are finding that championship form and play.

Our defence will struggle with the movement of city. If city score under 3 goals, success for us. We have more realistic games of getting points coming up.

Paul, dyche a P.E teacher? No, a very good manager.

Safe journey everyone.

Alan J Thompson
97 Posted 10/02/2024 at 09:26:30
I'm trying to decide if we should come out and have a go at winning this game or sit back with a packed defence and hope that we improve our goal difference over other relegation threatened teams against this lot.

However, some where at the back of my mind is a voice shouting; "We are Everton!" while another voice says; "Yeah well, not Mr Dyche's way".

Robert Tressell
98 Posted 10/02/2024 at 09:53:02
At the moment, we have a goal difference of -4. That's the best in the bottom half of the table apart from Chelsea and could be the difference between staying up and going down.

City on song are capable of putting 6 goals past pretty much any side in world football other than a handful of Champions League royalty clubs - and have won all 5 of their last league games. They go top if they win.

The odds are very much against us and it would be truly idiotic to go toe to toe with them as Paul # 60 suggests (don't worry Paul I know you are only being daft / provocative for a bit of sport).

Since Dyche is plainly an astute tactician, he will try to maintain a very organised shape and score on the counter. This is difficult because our most reliable players defensively (i.e. McNeil and Harrison) are slow; whereas possibly more dangerous players on the counter attack (i.e. Dobbin and Danjuma) are weak in defensive shape and not exactly Ronaldinho and R9 in attack.

Nevertheless, in the 1-3 defeat in December we were excellent for the best part of an hour but then the quality started to tell.

We will need some uncustomary luck and refereeing decisions to come away with any points. You make you're own luck with hard work but VAR seems to cancel that out for us. I'm hoping for a 1-1 or 2-2 but it's important also to come away with our favourable goal difference intact.

Frank Fearns
99 Posted 10/02/2024 at 09:54:56
Godfrey and Coleman had brilliant games against City there last time. Same again please. Someone mentioned put a runner on De Bruyne - good tactic - he runs the show so needs stifling. We have a Manager who can do this.
James Marshall
100 Posted 10/02/2024 at 10:03:19
I can foresee a hiding today - we couldn't score in a brothel and City are motoring again. I won't be one bit surprised if we get walloped 3-0 or 4-0. And yes we drew with them last season, but our record against City is appalling like everyone else's.

The last 13 games against them, I think we've lost 11 and drawn 2. Not exactly good omens, especially for a goal shy rabble like us.

Andy Crooks
101 Posted 10/02/2024 at 10:11:15
What was the point in that post, James? It offers nothing. Next thing you'll reveal it gets dark at night.

Luckily the Blues travelling away today do have something to offer. I suppose you'll have the "I told you so", joy to look forward to later.

Ian Riley
102 Posted 10/02/2024 at 10:17:37
Alan #97 – have a go at what? We struggle to score!!

I will take 2-0 score line over 6-1 but we had a go. Goal difference could be the difference come May. Confidence taking a battering with conceding many goals.

Whatever Mr Dyche does? He will be wrong with some fans. Players need to make less mistakes and hopefully we play well. The quality of Man City will beat us.

John Hall
103 Posted 10/02/2024 at 10:17:39
City definitely on for a penalty today as Oliver is the VAR.

Will be a shit decision probably late in the second half at nil-nil.

James Marshall
104 Posted 10/02/2024 at 10:21:20
The point was offering an opinion you clearly don't like, Andy!

I'll make it shorter and spin it round for you: I don't think we'll win today. There :-)

Also I won't take any joy in us losing, and I won't be saying I told you so because I'm not 12.

Sam Hoare
105 Posted 10/02/2024 at 10:26:59

Ha! xG isn't going anywhere! It's far from perfect but it's one of the best tools we have for judging performance over time beyond the actual result. Let's hope that we start to catch up on ours!

Frank Fearns
106 Posted 10/02/2024 at 10:40:36
Andy 101,

There a loads of doom and gloom merchants on here today. Think I'll just start slowly sipping my arsenic before 12:30!!!

Danny O’Neill
107 Posted 10/02/2024 at 10:42:49
Andy, you don't cross the Irish Sea to watch Everton thinking we're going to lose.

See you the next time you're over, friend.

Mark Murphy
108 Posted 10/02/2024 at 10:45:50
I'm currently nursing the mother of all hangovers… but:
Just had great news from Danny boy and I've got a ticket and “hotel” (Adelphi…) for the Palace home game - my first night match at Goodison since Dave Watson beat the shite in the second replay!! It's been toooo long!

As for today, my prediction doesn't mean shit but I don't see the point in voicing any negative thoughts. What will be will be but I know we'll give it a fucking good go! UTFT!

I fucking love the Blues!!

Alan J Thompson
109 Posted 10/02/2024 at 10:51:22
Ian (#102);

It's called winning, you must have run into it at some stage. We go out with every intent on out-scoring them.

Yes, I know, stop laughing and use some imagination, or if you are old enough, memory

Sorry, late thought, or Koeman led!

Billy Shears
110 Posted 10/02/2024 at 10:54:04
Today's game is one of those you hope for the best but sadly fear the worst. 2-0 to City.

Prove me wrong, eh, Blues.

Mike Corcoran
111 Posted 10/02/2024 at 10:59:01
Guaranteed a dodgy penalty and dodgy red against us today. Masters whispering into the VAR box…
Ian Riley
112 Posted 10/02/2024 at 10:59:40
Alan #109,

Let's go for it! Put 2 strikers up front. We have nothing to lose. It's a game we can go for it! Actually it may surprise them! It's only Manchester City!!

Alan J Thompson
113 Posted 10/02/2024 at 11:05:17
Ian(#112); Two strikers is a bit radical but if they have done their homework it will come as a surprise.
John Hall
114 Posted 10/02/2024 at 11:14:44
DCL. Beto and Dobbin up front - score a goal in first 10 mins take one of these off and shut up shop! Radical or worth a go?
John Hall
115 Posted 10/02/2024 at 11:17:48
There's a reason why I'm not a manager :)
Nick Page
116 Posted 10/02/2024 at 11:18:44
Fuck nice football, just get into these bastards and rattle them. They hate it. Then toey one in from 20 yards. Everton aren't we UTFT
Kunal Desai
117 Posted 10/02/2024 at 11:31:11
I actually think we may put in a performance here, we did well up until 70 mins at Anfield and same at Spurs when we should have got a point at the very least. Keep City at bay for as long as possible and who knows. It's a free hit for the players. Would not be surprised if it plays out a good performance and a 1-0 defeat. Foden is on fire right now.

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