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21 August 2017

Manchester City fans fear Wayne Rooney scoring at the Etihad again… but we should still have enough to beat Everton

Things are looking pretty good for City ahead of Monday night.

On paper, we’ve never lost our first home game of the season in the Premier League and we’ve not been beaten in at the Etihad in a league game this calendar year.

Wayne Rooney celebrates after scoring his first competitive since rejoining Everton
Wayne Rooney celebrates after scoring his first competitive goal since rejoining Everton
Rex Features
Rooney scores at the Etihad during a Premier League fixture in December, 2012
Rooney scores at the Etihad during a Premier League fixture in December, 2012
Getty Images – Getty

The atmosphere and momentum from pre-season surrounding the club is electric and there is a genuine mystery about the way we’re going to lineup and excitement is building around the Etihad.

This said, I’m always wary of playing Everton. Historically they have always made it tough for us and will fancy their chances.

January’s dismal display at Goodison Park is still fresh in my own mind, an afternoon when Ronald Koeman completely called Guardiola’s bluff and the game was over by half-time.

I fully expect Wayne Rooney to raise his game against City and Gylfi Sigurdsson will be desperate to live up to his price tag, should he make his debut.

This is an Everton team who, while outsiders, could be a top four team by the end of the season and I’d like to see City approach the game cautiously and let our quality do the talking.

A win at Brighton away was a solid start to the season, dominating the game and easing our way back into the Premier League with three points makes it hard to find anything to moan about.


Pep Guardiola and Wayne Rooney during Manchester City's meeting with United last term
Pep Guardiola and Wayne Rooney during Manchester City’s meeting with United last term
Mark Robinson – The Sun
The Toffees landed the signing of Sigurdsson for a club-record £45million
The Toffees landed the signing of Sigurdsson for a club-record £45million
Getty – Contributor

But if had to, I’d say we didn’t make the most of the unbelievable pace we have in the team.

Neither Raheem Sterling nor Leroy Sane started the game and we couldn’t quite find the right final ball throughout the first half.

I do see the benefit of being able to bring two of the fastest players in the league off the bench when a full-back is getting tired and weary, but I’d like to see them start and peg Everton back early on, letting us play the game our way and create some solid chances.

I’m expecting a close game and have a horrible vision of Rooney scoring at the Etihad once again, but think City will have enough behind us to bag three points. I’ll go 2-1 City.

City boss Guardiola will be looking to redeem last term's thrashing at Goodison Park
City boss Guardiola will be looking to redeem last term’s thrashing at Goodison Park
PA:Press Association



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Manchester City face Everton on Monday – here are the likely line-ups
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