Man City v Everton: Sheik n Cack – Can Koeman Bring The Freshness Back?

Okay, that’s a tenuous title but I wanted to try and squeeze that pun for everything I could.

Well the last time I wrote an article I was, for once, overly positive about the way things were going. My fellow Evertonians, plus the action on the pitch, had pushed me in that direction. Since then we’ve lost to Norwich and Bournemouth and drawn with Palace. Awesome.

We could’ve been joint top and away to Leeds in the cup. Actually, we have actually avoided having to go to Leeds so, you know, every cloud.

So now the tricky fixtures arrive with Man City up first. Apparently it’s a ‘good time’ to play them as they’ve drawn twice in a row, but our record at the Etihad isn’t great. The great days of the late ‘noughties’ and early ‘elevensies’ (needs work) have gone when Cahill used to terrorise them at the Council House. That’s been replaced by regular two-goal defeats although the 0-0 draw was decent last year (despite the fact they should’ve had a clear penalty).

The league cup semi showed how fragile our confidence was around that time though when we went into the lead, started opening the bubble ahead of a trip to Wembley only to see the bubbles explode back onto our own faces, or something.

Koeman has been pretty positive this week as you’d expect and may have a plan in place to frustrate Pep, playing on the break and getting Bolasie to run at John “reborn since Pep took him under his wing” Stones. The trainee-Accountant-faced England international still looks jittery under pressure at times, and hopefully putting his under pressure will mean he makes the kind of mistake he made for us last year. His positioning is still suspect so getting quickly to the byline and pinging crosses into the box for Big Rom to get onto could be the way forward.

It’ll be interesting too to see who comes back fit/injured/tired from international duty. For us we saw Idrissa Gana Gueye play for Senegal against Cape Verde (they won 2-1) and Bolasie starred for DR Congo v Libya in a 4-0 win. Tellingly they both took place last week though, so hopefully they’ll have rested enough to be up for the match.

Enner Valencia scored twice against Peru in midweek but he’ll probably not play much anyway, as he seems to be last. It does give us the chance to show you the clip of him trying to run away from the police for non-payment of child support though via a stretcher/ambulance. Bet Fathers 4 Justice never thought of this.

Elsewhere Seamus Coleman continued to be in good form for the Rep Ireland, scoring what appears to be a FIFA 13 goal in their win over Moldova.

Lukaku had a mixed game v Bosnia before going off injured, but although he missed their game midweek he has come back fit according to Koeman.

Anyway, here’s his miss – hopefully he’s got it out of his system.

And here’s his quality finish – another of these n Saturday would be nice.

On the flip side, Stekelnberg’s return to the Dutch team as number 1 didn’t quite go to plan. Just push it wide, man…

For Man City there will be a few people coming back from injury and long flights. It’ll be interesting to see whether Aguero plays a full game as he had a calf issue and has flown a lot of miles over the week. Similarly Raheem Sterling wasn’t fit for England and Kevin de Bruyne is unlikely to be fit. Good.

Bear in mind that they’ve got Barcelona in the Champions League during the week. Do you think they’ll be going hell for leather in this match with that on the horizon?

I think that Koeman will set us out to be hard to beat and for that reason I’ll be going for a draw, or maybe a 1-1 result.

Saying that Southampton have lost by two goals of the last two seasons at their place with Koeman in charge. Bah!

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