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Manchester City vs Everton Odds, Pick | Premier League Match Preview

Manchester City vs Everton Odds, Pick | Premier League Match Preview article feature image
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Tim Goode/Getty. Pictured: Manchester City players.

Manchester City vs. Everton Odds

Saturday, Dec. 31
10 a.m. ET
Peacock
Man City Odds -850
Everton Odds +2300
Draw +850
Over/Under 3.5 (+100 / -122)
Both Teams to Score (Yes/No) (+132 / -168)
Odds via DraftKings. Get up to the minute soccer odds here.

Manchester City look to keep pace atop the Premier League table on New Year’s Eve when they face an Everton side trying to avoid another relegation scrap.

City pulled away for a 3-1 victory at Leeds United on Wednesday that kept them within five points of league leaders Arsenal. However, a late goal from Leeds’ Pascal Struijk prevented City from keeping a first clean sheet since late October.

Two days earlier, Everton fell 2-1 at home to Wolves in brutal fashion, conceding the winner to Rayan Ait Nouri in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time. That took the Toffees to just one point above the bottom three entering a match no one will expect them to take a point from.

City won both league meetings last year, though there was some controversy in the latter, a 1-0 result at Goodison Park in which the group that governs Premier League refereeing admitted Everton should’ve been awarded a penalty for Rodri’s handball.

Man City Must Not Look Ahead Beyond This Fixture

In league terms, Everton at home could represent a bit of a trap game for a City side facing a tougher run of games in the New Year.

Following Saturday’s match, City’s next EPL opponents are Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United. Another FA Cup meeting against Chelsea and League Cup quarterfinal against Southampton are also sandwiched in that stretch.

It’s the kind of itinerary that might even make a manager consider rotating some of his attackers, but Erling Haaland continues to be no ordinary attacker.

The Norwegian striker bagged two more goals in the 90-minute win over Leeds, bringing his overall total to 26 goals since joining City before the season and 20 to top the Premier League charts.

If there’s any reason to doubt City ever so slightly here, it might be the quick turnaround. They’re 5-1-3 (W-L-D) in matches played in all competitions on only three days of rest. That’s hardly a bad record, but it’s far short of their 12-1-1 mark in games on more normal rest.

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Everton in Familiar Position

On one hand, you could argue there were promising signs in defeat on Boxing Day. In terms of xG, the Toffees generated better chances (1.7 xG total) than in any EPL game since their well-earned scoreless draw with Liverpool in early September.

On the other, it sort of felt like this at the start of last winter while Everton were drifting down the table under former manager Rafa Benitez.

They ultimately escaped relegation after Benitez’s dismissal and the eventual appointment of current manager Frank Lampard, but they also finished the campaign with a -23 goal differential that was 10 worse than an xG differential at about -13. In other words, while regression often comes, it is not guaranteed.

Striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who scored 29 EPL goals in two seasons between 2019 and 2021, might be fit enough to return after missing yet another match to injury on Boxing Day.

That might not matter all that much though. The two seasons since have shown Calvert-Lewin to be extremely service-reliant. That service has been far less consistent since the sale of Brazilian World Cup star Richarlison to Tottenham Hotspur before the season.

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Man City vs. Everton Pick

The value here is on City to score a lot of goals, even if it doesn’t look totally appealing.

Everton have avoided the relegation zone to date mostly through obstinate defending. They’ve been lucky as often as good, and there are signs that their fortune is turning.

Their 15.1 xG allowed away is the fourth-highest total in the Premier League. It comes despite a relatively modest away schedule. They’ve been able to outperform it by four goals in part because teams have struggled to gain an early lead and make them leave their low block.

If City get so much as one goal, Everton’s posture has to change. City have found the net at least three times in six of their eight home games to date. The shorter rest Saturday may also matter less for City because they can lean on a couple players used sparingly or not at all since the World Cup.

The bet here is on City to exceed 2.5 goals. A price of -158 odds feels steep, but it represents a 61.2% implied probability. We’d definitely expect this City team with Haaland and company to score three or more at home against this Everton side on at least two of three occasions.

Pick: Manchester City Over 2.5 Goals (-158)

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