Manchester City and Everton clash in the second of their January triple header tonight with important Premier League points the prize on offer this time.
The Citizens lost 2-1 to Everton in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final a week ago, and face them in the reverse fixture at the Etihad on the 27th of this month.
Manuel Pellegrini’s boys had better cup fortunes over the weekend as they comfortably knocked off hosting Norwich City in the third round of the FA Cup.
The City manager rung the changes for their trip to Carrow Road. Here, Caught Offside predicts what lineup he will go with for Everton’s visit to Eastlands…
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GK: Joe Hart
The England number one has had a good rest while Willy Caballero has stepped in for successive cup matches. Without a home clean sheet since August.
RB: Bacary Sagna
Pablo Zabaleta got his chance against the Canaries, but Sagna will be recalled. No City player has started more league games than the ex-Arsenal man this term.
CB: Nicolas Otamendi
Has started City’s last 12 games in all competitions, but the lack of a regular partner, especially Vincent Kompany, has prevented him from fully convincing yet.
CB: Martin Demichelis
Kompany and Eliaquim Mangala are two of five City injury absentees reported by their official website, so Demichelis is the only option to partner Otamendi.
LB: Aleksander Kolarov
Gael Clichy started the trip to Goodison Park last week, but Kolarov and his demon left foot currently have the nod over the Frenchman in the Premier League.
Fernandinho is another key player sidelined for the Citizens and therefore his Brazilian near-namesake will have the responsibility of protecting his back four.
CM: Fabian Delph
Pellegrini went with two genuine holding midfielders in the League Cup tie and is likely to do so again in an attempt to stifle the influence of a certain Ross Barkley.
AMR: Kevin de Bruyne
After four away games on the bounce, the Belgian winger will be delighted to finally be back on home turf. Eight of his 11 City goals have come at the Etihad Stadium.
AMC: Yaya Toure
Pellegrini may have finally learned that he cannot trust Toure’s lazy approach to defending in games against tough opposition and will push him further forward, sacrificing Raheem Sterling.
AML: David Silva
The Spaniard, who was given the weekend off, will be shifted to the left to accommodate Toure. We are still waiting to see his best form since his return from injury.
ST: Sergio Aguero
Likewise with Aguero, although his strike against Norwich was his second in three games. If he hits his stride, the Citizens could be top of the Premier League before long.
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