Two sides who are becoming increasingly used to the sight of each other meet for the filling in their three-match sandwich which takes place across the month of January.
Having been beaten 2-1 at Goodison Park in last week’s Capital One Cup semi-final first leg, City know all about the strengths that the Toffees have, and will know they have to be on their game if they are to stretch their three-match unbeaten run in the Premier League.
Sergio Aguero was imperious in the Citizens’ 3-0 FA Cup win at Norwich on Saturday, and the keeping thee Argentina striker fit will be integral to Manuel Pellegrini’s men keeping pace with the leaders and sustaining their title challenge.
Manchester City have a strong recent record at the Etihad against their opponents on Wednesday; they have not lost this fixture in any of the past four seasons.
Everton will go into the match full of confidence after their success against City last week, but their inconsistency looks set to prevent them making the European charge that supporters are expecting.
The Toffees have won just one of their last seven league games, and haven’t collected three points against any of the top half so far this season; this is something that Roberto Martinez will have to change to keep the Goodison Park faithful onside.
Although the Merseyside club’s recent record in this fixture is not impressive, they did win on four consecutive occasions in the blue half of Manchester between 2007 and 2010, with Tim Cahill scoring in three of those games; it will be down to the in-form Romelu Lukaku to take up the Australian’s mantle if Everton are to have success on Wednesday night.
City will again have to cope without captain Vincent Kompany, who sits out with a calf strain, whilst fellow centre-back Eliaquim Mangala is also out. David Silva, Yaya Toure and Fernandinho are slight doubts for the hosts.
Tom Cleverley is doubtful for the visitors, who are also without Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy. Lukaku, Steven Naismith – who looks set to leave the club this month – and Ramiro Funes Mori are all set to be available though.
League Position: Manchester City – 3rd (39 pts); Everton – 11th (27 pts)
Last Meeting: Everton 0-2 Manchester City (August 23, 2015)
Form: Manchester City – LWLWDW; Everton – DDLWLD
Key Players: Manchester City – Sergio Aguero; Everton – Romelu Lukaku
Shoot Says: Manchester City 3-1 Everton