Everton v Manchester City, Saturday 12:45
– Everton’s last outing in the Premier League was a dominant 3-1 victory at Goodison Park over Reading. Marouane Fellaini, Steven Pienaar and Kevin Mirallas all chipped in a result which boosted their hopes of European qualification come the end of the season.
– Leighton Baines shows no sigs of slowing down as we approach the run-in to the end of the season, consistently turning in world class performances on Everton’s left flank. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, such has been his contribution that he is only player in the Premier League to now be in triple figures for both defensive contributions (156) and crosses delivered (101)
– Look for the touch and pace of Steven Pienaar to potentially play a pivotal role in the middle of the park on Saturday. He has the ability to trouble any side, including the reigning champions, as demonstrated by the fact that he has now completed a pass in the opponent’s half once every 3.2 minutes this season.
– One can see why Marouane Fellaini is coveted by so many clubs, given his evolution from midfield enforcer into a consistent goal threat. He’s been the Everton player most willing to have a crack on goal this season, with a squad-high 66 attempts, 66.7% of which have been on target.
– It has been a few week’s away from the league for the reigning champions, their last outing seeing them defeat Chelsea 2-0 at the Etihad thanks to goals from Yaya Toure and Carlos Tevez.
– Carlos Tevez has been steadily having more and more influence as games in recent weeks, his hattrick in the last round of the FA Cup the latest sign he is approaching top form. Look to see him add to his combined total of 22 goals and assists this weekend.
– The importance of Yaya Toure to Manchester City truly cannot be understated. The Ivorian midfielder has now completed a pass in the opponent’s half on average an astonishing once every 2.31 minutes.
– Gael Clichy continues to transform into the kind of player Manchester City hoped he would become following his arrival from Arsenal. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows him as having the strongest tackle success rate of any player in the City squad, the Frenchman being successful with 78.9% of his 57 attempted challenges.