Toffees and Citizens Look Good For Goals in Capital One CupPublished January 5, 2016
The second Capital One Cup semi-final 1st leg of the week sees Everton playing host to Manchester City on Wednesday night. The Citizens will travel to Goodison Park in high spirits following their late rally to beat Watford 2-1 on Saturday evening. City often seem to be a team where confidence is key and there’s a feeling that those last 10-minutes at Vicarage Road could have a major bearing on the remainder of their season.
Despite playing some very good football at times, Everton have had a tendency to give away soft goals this season. Veteran goalkeeper Tim Howard has looked shaky at times, but the defence has often been left exposed by a lack of cover from those further forward. The returning Phil Jagielka, who was on the bench for Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur, could have a more prominent role against Manchester City.
Of course, Manchester City are still without their own defensive linchpin, with Vincent Kompany not due back for perhaps another three weeks. There’s little argument that The Citizens will miss his ability to organize a defence that could be in for a tough examination from the pace and power of Everton.
With Sergio Aguero only having recently returned from injury and having looked short of match-fitness until his excellent header secured the points at Vicarage Road on Saturday, it’s difficult to believe that Manuel Pellegrini will want to risk the Argentinean from the start here. That’s not to say that Pellegrini will take the game lightly, having selected a strong line-up for the quarter-final tie at home to Hull City.
This is a game that looks to have goals in it. Manchester City are the top scorers in the Premier League this term with 39 to date, whilst Everton are third on the list with 36 to their name. Yes, City has struggled for goals away from home of late, but the win at Watford looks to have addressed that barren run.
City have also found little trouble finding the back of the net in the Capital One Cup this season, scoring 13 goals in wins against Sunderland, Crystal Palace and Hull. For their part, Everton have scored in each of their last 13 matches in all competitions. This isn’t a game where one would expect either team to adopt a cagey approach and over 3.5 goals could be on the cards.