Guardiola warns Man City of Everton threat
Pep Guardiola says Manchester City cannot afford to take victory against Everton for granted as they bid to return to the top of the Premier League despite a formidable recent record against the Toffees.
Guardiola’s men, seeking their 10th straight win in all competitions, have won 11 and drawn two of their past 13 league games against Everton, who last won in 2017.
Everton have managed only one win in their past 10 matches in all competitions and are languishing in the relegation zone.
But Guardiola has frustrating memories of Everton’s 1-1 draw at City last season and has urged his players not to let their guard down on Saturday.
“Tomorrow we wake up and go direct to play a football game at 12:30 pm, so we have to be ready,” he said on Friday.
“Since arriving, Everton always took results here. I don’t know why, maybe because they are good. So we have to be ready.
“Hopefully it’s going to go well, but last season we could not win.”
Victory for City would lift them above Liverpool to the top of the table, at least temporarily, with Jurgen Klopp’s men hosting Burnley later on Saturday.
Everton have not won in the Premier League since December and face a fight to avoid relegation after being deducted 10 points for breaching financial regulations.
The Toffees have been hit by another financial charge that could bring further punishment, prompting boss Sean Dyche to question why his club’s cases have been dealt with quicker than City’s.
City were charged with 115 breaches of Premier League financial regulations 12 months ago but their case is still to be heard.
Guardiola refused to be drawn on Dyche’s comment, saying only: “I know my opinion about that. I have spoken many times. I don’t have anything else to add. We wait.”
City’s hopes of winning an unprecedented fourth successive English title have been significantly boosted by the return of Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne.
Belgium midfielder De Bruyne has missed most of the season with a hamstring injury, while Norway striker Haaland is two games into his comeback from a foot problem.
The pair are set to start their first home game together this season against Everton and Guardiola acknowledged their presence was vital to City’s trophy chase.
“It’s simple. They are players that win games by themselves. When one player scores 60 goals, it helps you to win games,” he said.
“When you play with a player that makes a thousand million assists and goals, it helps you to win games.
“You don’t have to study at Harvard or Yale to understand that.”