Key Tactic: I think a key tactic in this one will involve how well Everton can execute counter attacking opportunities. They were brilliant playing on the break in their 3-0 win last weekend at Southampton, the opening two goals coming from textbook counter attacks. Although they'll be the home side Sunday, Manchester City don't tend to take a more conservative approach on their travels.
Yaya Toure has had a magnificent start to the season but his lack of urgency in making defensive recovery runs still leaves his midfield partner Fernandinho doing an immense amount of defensive work. Towards the middle of the second half of their convincing 3-0 win over Chelsea, Toure's unwillingness to make defensive recovery runs began to leave City remarkably open and Chelsea created a couple of decent chances on the counter. The best of those chances fell to Eden Hazard with the score at 1-0 but the Belgian missed his opportunity to equalize, putting his shot straight at Joe Hart.
Recognizing his side were too open, Manuel Pellegrini brought in Martin Demichelis to play at the base of midfield alongside Fernandinho and moved Toure forward into the #10 role. This gave City far more solidity defensively and they went on to score two additional goals. It was an astute move from Pellegrini, one that Mourinho acknowledged (while managing to compliment himself in the process as he tends to do), but one I thought he nearly waited too long to make. While Mourinho's claim the 3-0 result was "fake" is asburd- Chelsea could well have conceded three or four in the first half- it is true that they had opportunities to get back into it in the second half and had Hazard finished his chance it may have been a different result. An Everton side firing on all cylinders as they were last weekend, led by a central attacking partnership of Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukuka, will be far more lethal on the counter than the ineffective Costa and surprisingly tame Hazard. The Everton duo were brilliant last weekend- Lukaku scored a brace and Barkley scored the third and provided an assist. City will have to be mindful of the Toffees on the counter.
Key stat: They key state here comes courtesy of whoscored.com. Manchester City have been leading at halftime and full time of their last 8 Premier League matches. I think it's important Everton don't allow City to go ahead. Although the Toffees showed decent fight in coming from behind twice at home to Watford on opening day to secure a draw, coming from behind against a side that has finished second and first in the last two seasons and boasts the likes of Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Toure is a different prospect than doing so against a newly promoted side that hadn't played a top flight match since 2007. If Everton manage to take the lead they'll need to retain their focus as they did last week. They lost more points from a winning position last season than any side so going ahead is no sign they'll actually emerge with any points.