Manchester City v Everton Betting Preview
Back Manchester City to progress to the Capital One Cup final with a win
All is certainly not well in the blue half of Manchester, and their 2-1 defeat to Everton in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final has left them with some serious work to do in order to progress. They head into the fixture with form on their side, with that loss at Goodison Park being their only defeat in their last eight games in all competitions. Two 4-1 victories over Hull City and Sunderland as well as an emphatic 5-1 win over Crystal Palace prove that Manuel Pellegrini’s side are more than capable of producing quality performances in this competition, and I’m backing them to find their form once more on Wednesday night.
Despite sitting second in the Premier League table, three points behind leaders Leicester, the team’s defensive weaknesses are clear to see, and Everton will be looking to expose that instability with fast-paced attacking football. However, Manchester City are unbeaten at home since November 21st when Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side inflicted a 4-1 defeat on Pellegrini’s men, and they’ve only been beaten once at the Etihad since mid-September. I think despite heading into the game with a deficit to turn around, City will produce another home victory, even if it means taking the tie to extra time.
Everton’s league form has been far from impressive so far, however a domestic cup final and possibly even a trophy would be the perfect way to turn the club’s season into a success, and give Roberto Martinez the confidence boost he desperately needs. With only one win in their last nine Premier League games, Everton are struggling to find a good run of form, and a league cup win over Manchester City could well be the start of an impressive run-in, possibly even leading to a top-eight finish.
The Toffees, much like Manchester City, are struggling defensively, and have lost more points from winning positions than any other Premier League team. They’ve conceded ten goals in their last five matches, including a 4-3 defeat to Stoke City and more recently a 3-3 draw with Chelsea in which they threw away the win in the 98th minute. On the positive side, Martinez’s men have only failed to score in one game since October 17th, which came in their stalemate with Manchester City in the league a couple of weeks ago. They’ve only lost once away from home all season, and they’ll be confident about getting a result on Wednesday, but I think Manchester City will prove just that little too strong for them – I’m backing City to win the game.
Everton’s first-leg win was their only victory over Manchester City in the last seven meetings, with City winning four. The Toffee’s last victory at the Etihad came back in 2010, and since then City have only conceded two goals in five home meetings with Everton.
To score first – Aguero 14/5
With 15 goals in all competitions this season, including four in his last two against Crystal Palace and West Ham United, it looks a certainty for the Argentinian to find the net on Wednesday night. Despite only having two career goals against the Toffees, a fully-fit Aguero will be hoping to add to his record and send City through to the final. I’m backing Aguero to score first with odds of 14/5.
Both teams to score in 90 minutes – Yes 3/5
The recent defensive struggles shown by both teams suggests to me that we’re likely to see goals at both ends of the field on Wednesday night. Both sides have conceded in all of their League Cup fixtures so far, with the exception of Everton’s 2-0 win over Middlesbrough. Both City and Everton have found the net in four of the last seven meetings between the two, and given the nature of the tie I’m expecting plenty of action in front of goal. I would recommend backing odds of 3/5 for both teams to score in 90 minutes.
Match odds – Man City 1/2 (13/20 to qualify)
The home side, unsurprisingly, are odds-on favourites to win the tie and also to progress to the final, despite trailing 2-1 on aggregate. With a win either way and a draw making up the three previous meetings between the two sides this season, it’s a nightmare to predict the outcome, but I can’t see Everton, priced at 11/2, winning the tie, especially being away from home. The draw, priced at 19/5, could well be a possibility if Everton bring their A-game, however I believe the quality that Manchester City possess will lead them to victory on Wednesday night.
Writer’s Prediction: Man City 3 – 1 Everton
*Odds correct at the time of publication, click here for all the latest odds on upcoming football matches.