Manchester City vs Everton preview, betting tips and predictions: City to kick off at home with victory

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Manchester City to win and over 3.5 goals @ 15/8 with Paddy Power

Manchester City to win and Kevin de Bruyne to score anytime @ 11/4 with Paddy Power

Wayne Rooney to score anytime @ 10/1 with Paddy Power

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The transfer market has been absolutely crazy this summer, so much so that it has been harder than ever for clubs to solve every issue from within their squad. Manchester City are perhaps the one who can say that, but mainly because they became the first English team to spend over £200million in a single window.

Their ageing defence has been rectified, particularly at full back, and yet more creativity has been added to Pep Guardiola’s ranks. As a result, the pressure is truly on City and their manager to deliver both domestically and in Europe. An opening day victory at Brighton was a solid enough start, but the hosts didn’t offer much beyond a wall for them to break down and the odd counter attack so their defence was barely tested. There are still real question marks over City’s back line, particularly ex-Everton man John Stones.

This game will be an interesting match up because while both sides look to dominate the ball, Ronald Koeman will be taking a huge risk in attempting to do that at the Etihad Stadium with Bernardo Silva, David Silva and our betting tip for a goalscorer Kevin de Bruyne all possible options. Idrissa Gueye will have his work cut out alongside Morgan Schneiderlin if the Toffees are to take anything from this game.

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We believe de Bruyne is the best option for an anytime goalscorer because not only does he take free kicks but he is at the heart of everything in attack, particularly at home. His odds are much shorter than the likes of Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero, and with the amount of chances City will create, backing de Bruyne to lead them to victory could offer real value.

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But they will be confident off the back of last season, when they headed to City at the height of their impressive start to the campaign and snatched a 1-1 draw. Wayne Rooney has replaced the now departed Romelu Lukaku, who scored and supplied a focal point for Koeman, and while the England man won’t do the same job, he will have a point to prove and could cause real issues, especially if he drops off the front and causes confusion between the City defence and the base of the midfield.

Manchester City's Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Champions League group C football match between Manchester City and Barcelona at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England on November 1, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFF

Either way, both teams have huge quality in attack and that points to an open game with lots of goals. The Toffees also beat Guardiola’s side 4-0 at home in January, but playing away it will be different. Even if over 3.5 goals is more likely than usual on Monday night.

Key battle: Gabriel Jesus vs Phil Jagielka

For all of their prowess as a footballing side under Koeman, Everton’s defence is solid with Jagielka and Ashley Williams at the heart. Strong and experienced, but not particularly blessed with pace, they are great in a battle like with Stoke last week, but City will try and play round them, particularly with balls in behind them for Jesus and Sergio Aguero.

With City setting the pace, it is not out of the question that they will target Jagielka in particular. It is unlikely he will be able to live with the Brazilian alone, not to mention Aguero and the aforementioned wave of creativity in support. It could be a long afternoon for the Englishman.

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