The big games, they keep on coming.

But if ever there is a real test to Everton’s start to the season, it’s this evening against Manchester City.
The Blues have won their four games so far – one in the Premier League, three in the Europa League – without conceding a goal.
However, boss Ronald Koeman has suggested it would be a “miracle” if his side keep a fifth successive clean sheet this evening.
That said, the last meeting between the sides saw Pep Guardiola’s men thrashed 4-0 at Goodison back in January.
And a few months previous, Everton earned a 1-1 draw at City.
New club record signing Gylfi Sigurdsson could make his debut tonight following his move from Swansea City.

Changes afoot.

City are still so dangerous even with 10 men. Davy Klaassen and Gylfi Sigurdsson warming up in front of us. Both just had a chat with Koeman

Tribute

Rooney’s former employers enjoying that goal almost as much as his current ones.

200 Club

And if you’ve had enough of that Premier League goals nonsense, here’s the all-time chart.
Dixie’s ratio still the best.

Wayne Rooney is the 27th player in English top-flight history to score 200 goals. 

Snigger …

And from another angle ….

Goal 200

Want to see it?
Of course you do!
Lots of debate on that red card

‘Calvert-Lewin makes a meal of it’. More Walker making a dog’s breakfast of an utterly stupid body-check, no?

Jordan’s a Record Breaker!

Jordan Pickford has now gone a club record for a goalkeeper of 5 hrs 15 mins without conceding from start of  career

Half-Time Ratings

Jordan Pickford
Made a big save from Otamendi and his distribution was slick throughout the half, barring one effort that nearly cost him dearly when City countered. 8
Leighton Baines
Some smart balls into the channel and strong defensively. May well have saved a goal with his challenge on Walker. 8
Ashley Williams
Shaky distribution and was dragged out of position a bit but did alright. 6
Phil Jagielka
A tremendous half of blocks, clearances and challenges. 8

Michael Keane
Disciplined and alert to danger, which came from a variety of guises. 7
Mason Holgate
Played his part in the build-up to the goal and defended well. 7
Idrissa Gueye
Got through a mountain of work. His resilience and engine key to Koeman’s game plan. 8

Morgan Schneiderlin
Picked up a needless booking for an early lunge on Aguero. Did OK on a tightrope afterwards. 6

Tom Davies
Bright, energetic and forward thinking. Harshly booked for diving. 7
Wayne Rooney
Cometh the hour, cometh a regular thorn in City’s side. Took his goal terrifically. 8

Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Worked tirelessly on what was often a thankless task ploughing a lone furrow but frequently gave City’s defence a headache. Superb in build-up to the goal. 8

Heated debate

Disagreement between me and Phil on that one. Got to be honest and say I don’t think it should have been a booking. A foul, yes, but didn’t warrant the second yellow for me. Won’t lose sleep over it mind! Interesting now!!!

Walker is daft for putting himself in danger of picking up a second yellow there.
Can understand the City complaints but he clearly made a movement with his shoulder towards DCL

200 Up!

Fans watch on as Wayne Rooney of Everton celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Everton
Fans watch on as Wayne Rooney of Everton celebrates after scoring his side’s first goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Everton (Image: Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Shear Ecstasy

Sounds like a harsh decision to dismiss Walker. He bumped into Dominic Calvert-Lewin and received a second yellow card.
Here’s Greg’s reaction
I’d be sent off at five a side every week at that rate

Off Night

Walker off!
Second booking
Baines challenging Jagielka for the Tackle of the Match award*
*Award doesn’t actually exist

Two’s Company

From one striking legend to another

Yellow Card

Kyle Walker booked now for a very late lunge on Leighton Baines

Ruthless

Everton have scored 6 goals from their last 7 shots on target against Manchester City.

And another

200 – Wayne Rooney has become just the second player to score 200 goals in the @premierleague after @alanshearer(260). Icons.

DCL A-OK

City hit the post one minute (through David Silva), Everton score the next. An incredible twist in this game. It had been – and continues to be – all City but Everton’s game plan is working. Calvert-Lewin has been terrific
Earlier today we published this
City Fear Rooney Factor.
Here’s why.
Twelve league goals against City now.
The way he recognises he needs to get in the box — not many players could. We can all play the pass he played, even head it like he did but that timing sets him apart – Vincent Kompany

DCL to Rooney for the second successive league game, as well.
Wow. Is it too early to start talking about Fairytale returns?

Rooney!!!!!!!!

1-0 Rooney! Goal 200 in the Premier League for Rooney

Jags to the rescue

Unorthodox, but brilliant, defending from Jagielka.
How did he recover from falling over to stop Aguero?!

Action Shots

Everton's Tom Davies has a shot at goal.
Everton’s Tom Davies has a shot at goal.
Jordan Pickford in action during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Everton at Etihad Stadium
Jordan Pickford in action during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Everton at Etihad Stadium

Breathe Phil, breathe …

Only half an hour gone. Feels a lot longer

Solitary Man

Everton’s problem at the moment is that Calvert-Lewin is their best – and more often than not – only outlet.

Rodney’s Analysis

Phew …

Phew. That was close. Pickford again showing his worth with a diving stop from Otamendi. Jagielka taking no chances either, heading Aguero’s attempted follow up lob over his own crossbar.

Yellow Peril

Tom Davies booked for diving. A booking is harsh but it wasn’t a free kick. Tom seemed to, as they say, invite the contact there.
It’s the 22nd minute so the whole stadium is up and applauding the 22 victims of the Manchester attack.

Running Man

Koeman will be chuffed with how Calvert-Lewin has started this game. And knowing him, he’ll run and run all night if he has to

Dominic Calvert-Lewin of Everton in action during the Premier League match at Manchester City.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin of Everton in action during the Premier League match at Manchester City.

Frighteners

Let’s hope Scotty’s as accurate with his assessment as he is his tips.

Early days I know, but Stones is petrified of Calvert Lewin at the moment.

Reassuring words

I’m reassured by Twitter that what Sandro has strapped to his leg is really just a fancy ice pack.

Williams has more time than he thinks, looks up and sees DCL ploughing a lone furrow and…punts a hopeful but hopeless ball way which is over-hit and out for a goal kick. Poor.
Sandro has tweeted an image of himself cheering on the Blues from home…where he’s wearing an ominous cast-type support thing on his lower leg. Let’s hope it’s not an indication that his heel injury is more severe than originally thought.
Sandro’s not at The Etihad tonight. Let’s hope that boot is precautionary. Otherwise we won’t be seeing him for a while.

Unecessary

Schneiderlin goes into the book.
Didn’t need to make that challenge.

Morgan Schneiderlin Booked

For bringing down Sergio Aguero.
We told you Scotty was on a roll with his bets. Just scroll back.
Still a cloud of smoke hovering over the Etihad pitch. It’s like a scene from those classic Serie A matches back in the 90s
Calvert-Lewin has started like he means business.
Running the channels really well in these opening few minutes and causing some problems.
Keep it up lad!
Already a few early raids from Gabriel Jesus who looks like he’s filled out a little in the summer and could be more physically able to cope with the Premier League rough stuff.

English Lions

8 – Everton will start a Premier League game with 8 English players for the first time since Boxing Day 1997. Lions.
And the eight Englishmen in action in 1997?
Earl Barrett, Carl Tiler, Craig Short, Dave Watson, Andy Hincliffe, Danny Cadamarteri, Nick Barmby, Michael Ball.
That was also in Manchester. At Old Trafford. Everton lost 2-0.
Don’t Look Back in Anger being played now, with everyone joining in as the smoke from those pre-game fireworks lingers. The Oasis song became an anthem all over again, of sorts, after that horrific attack at the arena earlier this year. Anyway – we’re off!

Fireworks Night

If it’s looking a little hazy on your TV screens … just check out the previous post.
Which explains why.

Modern football

The match. Millennium style.
Suppose it beats being crammed into the old Kippax.
Suppose.

Don’t tell him, Pike!

Long memories …

Joleon Lescott invited on pitch as part of the pre-match build-up. It hasn’t gone down well with the Everton fans  
Here’s the new record signing arriving.

Gylfi Sigurdsson of Everton before the Premier League match between Manchester City and Everton
Gylfi Sigurdsson of Everton before the Premier League match between Manchester City and Everton (Image: Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images)

Thumbs Up

Ronald Koeman before the Premier League match between Manchester City and Everton
Ronald Koeman before the Premier League match between Manchester City and Everton (Image: Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images)

This is what we want to see from Ronald in a couple of hours’ time.

Great Scott

Follow his tips at your peril.
Although to be fair, he’s on a roll at the moment.

More from Greg

If you’re not bored by my last corporate update, they now even have a special vip area next to the pitch so they can come out and watch the warm-up.

We’re not bored Greg. Really, we’re …. not. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Greg’s mind is boggled

Just seeing City’s sparkling new corporate dining area, which is behind the press box in the Colin Bell stand, for the first time. It looks like a Michelin starred restaurant, all moody lighting, fine wine and speciality cuisine. Then there’s the fact that the players’ tunnel has been rebuilt with two way mirrors so corporate guests can look into it in the build-up etc.
All that for – and this is the basic cost – £299 a game. You can pay more and a member of the City backroom staff comes and gives you the team news along with a little explainer as to how they’ll set-up tactically. It’s mind boggling.

Frank talking

Good luck message from a former Heavyweight Champion of the World

Massive thank U to @Everton for donating this for my charity auction on 14/9 @champneys to raise money for@FrankBrunoFound.Good luck 2nite⚽️

Stat Attack

And here’s why we like him!

‘s record in our last 10 away Monday games in all competitions is W5 D5 L0
Here’s Ronald on that line up.
First of all we need to control the game. We need to defend well and because of that I made the decision to play with the three centre-backs. We have to control the midfield and show pace up front. Sandro is not fit to start, he’s not even on the bench. In that situation, Dominic is the best option to play up front. They will try to defend with a high defensive line and the experience we have from last season is that you can punish them if you have running players from midfield. Dominic has that up front.

Stat Man

I love Steve’s stats. I really do. Not sure what that says about us.
See what you think.

Phil Jagielka set to become the 32nd player aged 35+ to play for  (35y 4d) and the 42nd to have a 10y+ unbroken EFC career (10y 7d)

Bally’s apprehensive

It’s the start of a very tough testing run games for @Evertontonight.

That @ManCity team looks very impressive.

Late switch

Hearing that the City team originally announced has been changed. Leroy Sane now plays instead of Danilo.
No explanation yet.
Shame it couldn’t have been Augero, de Bruyne and Silva as well.

Super subs

Subs are: Stekelenburg, Martina, Lookman, Mirallas, Sigurdsson, Klaassen, Besic.
Lots of attacking changes possible.
And here comes the fume …

Unsure where the goals are coming from. Unless tactic is to be in the game after 70 minutes. Little negative.

Interesting team that – knew he’d go for 3 at the back but thought Martina had done enough…Suppose Holgate is more solid defensively

Three at the back …

Gylfi Sigurdsson starts on the bench.
Three at the back in Jagielka, Keane and Williams.
Mason Holgate and Leighton Baines look like playing as wing-backs.
Tom Davies starts (hurrah!) as do Morgan Schneiderlin and Idrissa Gueye in the middle.
And Wayne Rooney gets some much needed support up top from Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Attacking riches

There’s some threat there …

Greg ‘Gok Wan’ has spoken

I like the look of Everton’s third kit more and more. The Manchester Working bee addition for tonight, in the middle of the shirt, is a nice touch too; intended to honour people killed in the terror attacks here and in Barcelona last week.

Eclipse-d

To be fair you see one Solar Eclipse, you’ve seen them all.
But The Toffees’ on the road? No contest.

Away Daze ….

Here’s an alarming stat to highlight Everton’s troubles on the road.
Their last Premier League away win was at Crystal Palace…..on January 21!
The Blues did not win any of their final eight league games away from home last season.

Seamus Coleman of Everton celebrates scoring at Crystal Palace (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Seamus Coleman of Everton celebrates scoring at Crystal Palace (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

No Sandro?

Here’s Greg with his thoughts ahead of the team sheets landing.
Still no word on whether Sandro Ramirez is in contention or not. There was some suggestion earlier today that he hadn’t even travelled, which would be a blow. His pace would be an asset tonight as the Blues try to exploit that space in behind City’s defence that Koeman has spoken about. Without it, they’ll have to come up with a different way. Set-pieces, perhaps, if Sigurdsson is involved; presumably all aimed at Michael Keane’s towering frame.

Formations

We’re 20 minutes or so away from team news.
We’re presuming* (secretly praying) that Ronald doesn’t experiment with three at the back again – although with City employing a freestyle 3-1-6-0 formation at Brighton on the opening day who knows?
We do expect to see Gylfi Sigurddson at some stage, either starting or off the bench, we probably won’t see Ademola Lookman from the start – while the other question mark is whether skipper Phil Jagielka returns after sitting out the Hajduk Split victory.
All will be revealed … shortly.

Support and solidarity

There will be a striking new emblem on Everton’s third kit tonight, for very good reason.
The full story is here

Phil’s there

How do

Welcome very much to tonight’s live blog for Everton’s trip to Manchester City.
We’ll have all the best build-up to the match.
And, of course, we’ll have all the best action and reaction from our guys at the ground.
Let’s do this!
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