Davies loving Everton role

Everton midfielder Tom Davies says he is loving his new role as captain and says he hopes that he can continue as skipper going forward.

With the likes of Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman all out on the sidelines, manager Marco Silva has given local lad Davies the armband in recent outings.

Davies has relished the privilege and hopes he can continue in the position for as long as possible.
 
"I love it. Obviously being from here and supporting the club gives you that extra lift and I’m so proud of myself to do it," he told the club's website.

"To be captain of Everton is amazing for me. I just want to keep doing it and showing I can do that role in the team and leading us out.

"When you are captain, I definitely feel like you've got to be that leading role in the dressing room and on the pitch."

He added: "If on the pitch things aren't going your way people are looking to you. It brings my game on a lot really. I know I need to be getting on the ball or doing things I think a captain should be doing.

"I've always been a leader. I've got that personality where I can be and I'm glad the gaffer has seen that and given me the armband."

Everton are 11/10 to finish in the top half of the table this season.

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Everton not good enough – Silva

Everton boss Marco Silva admits performances have not been up to scratch recently after old club Watford heaped further pressure on the Portuguese.

The Toffees were beaten 1-0 by the Hornets at Vicarage Road on Saturday, Andre Gray netting the only goal of the game to inflict a third successive defeat on Silva's side.

A run of four wins from the last 17 in the Premier League, coupled with a shock FA Cup exit at the hands of Millwall in the fourth round, has resulted in some fans calling for Silva to be sacked.

The disharmony amongst the Goodison Park faithful marks a remarkable nose dive for Everton under Silva following his appointment in the summer, the team making a good start to life under his guidance.

However, Silva admits the dip in form has left him a little worried but believes there have been encouraging signs in the last two matches against Manchester City and Watford, missing some gilt-edged chances in the clash with the latter.

The Portuguese said: "It's not good for us as a club, and for me as a manager it's not good. I'm concerned but we have to work more and more to achieve the results that can grow our confidence."

"We hit the crossbar twice in the second half and had the header from Dominic [Calvert-Lewin]. At the moment, things aren't good.

"They created a chance after one corner which wasn't a corner, and after a deflection they scored the goal. We just weren't effective."

Silva's unhappy return to his former stomping ground was made worse by Kurt Zouma being sent-off after the full-time whistle, ruling him out of the clash with Cardiff City.

"I've spoken with Kurt, and what he told me is that he didn't see the first yellow card," Silva added. "He was surprised when I asked him what happened to receive a red card. I've not had the chance yet to speak with the referee."

Despite recent results, Everton are currently ninth in the standings and are 6/5 to finish in the top-10.

Everton now have two weeks off before their next Premier League clash, a trip to Cardiff City on 28 February.

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Silva seeking set-piece answers

Marco Silva accepts that he and his Everton players need to find answers as to why they have conceded so many goals at set-pieces so far this season.

A 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Manchester City saw the Toffees left in a 12th set-piece goal in the Premier League this season, with the Merseysiders having now lost three of their last four league games.

And afterwards head coach Silva was clearly irritated by the problems at hand and vowed to try and find solutions in the near future.

He told reporters: "What I want to speak about will stay with my players, we've spoken many times. Bad things are coming to us too easily, it's not normal.

"They work, they put focus on it, but sometimes it is so negative the bad things come to us and I want to be positive in this situation, because I know the players are working, they are prepared, they know.

"It's a matter for us to be more aggressive in that moment and be more confident.

"Each set-piece is difficult for not just our players, but the fans also and I understand why, but we have to be stronger."

Everton are currently in ninth place in the Premier League table, with their next assignment a Saturday visit to Watford, who are one place above them in the standings and who are also one of Silva's former clubs.

Everton can be backed at 23/10 to draw at Vicarage Road, with a 1-1 final scoreline 11/2 and a goalless draw available at 10/1.

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Guardiola hails Citizens recovery

Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola heaped praise on his players after a 2-0 win at Everton took them back to the top of the Premier League standings.

The Citizens are ahead of Liverpool on goal difference, although they have played one more game than the Merseysiders, with Spurs in third place – five points adrift having played a game less than City.

Just over a month ago City beat Liverpool 2-1 to avoid dropping a possible ten points off the pace and Guardiola is delighted with the work of his squad in recent weeks.

He told reporters: "The reality is we could have been ten points behind one month ago when we played Liverpool. A few days ago we could have been seven points behind, now we are top of the league.

"The lesson is never give up. That is a lesson for all athletes. Try to win the games, because life can change immediately.

"There are a lot of contenders to fight for the title and there are a lot of games to go. We will drop points and hopefully our opponents will also.

"We came from 100 points and champions last season and then we are in a situation where we could have given up, but it didn't happen.

"These players have shown incredible desire and performances for the last two years. How could I question them?"

The Citizens are now priced at 8/11 to retain their Premier League title, with Liverpool available at 5/4 and Tottenham 25/1.

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Premier League: City Back at the Top

Everton 0-2 Manchester City

Manchester City returned to the summit of the Premier League after an absence of almost two months, thanks to a 2-0 win over Everton at Goodison Park.

Aymeric Laporte struck in first half injury time, and then super-sub Gabriel Jesus added a second at the death, to grab all three points for the Sky Blues as they took over from Liverpool at the top.

Everton boss Marco Silva has been coming under increasing pressure following six defeats in nine games, and he made five changes to the team which lost to Wolves at the weekend. In a bold move he left out experienced and key players Seamus Coleman and Gylfi Sigurdsson, and they started on the bench along with striker Richarlison.

But in the end City won more comfortably than the score-line suggests as the Toffees rarely came close to breaching the visitors’ defence.

Highlights of the game

Pep Guardiola made just two changes and one of his incomers, Leroy Sane, had the first shot on goal, firing just wide from a third minute corner. And as City turned up the pressure they twice came very close to going ahead in the first 20 minutes. First Aymeric Laporte found himself unmarked at a corner and headed wide with the goal at his mercy; and then Ilkay Gundogan smashed the ball against the bar after meeting a low cross from David Silva.

Everton began to get in the game and lifted the Goodison crowd with some nice passing which resulted in a corner, but City cleared comfortably. The recalled Bernard was lively on the left and the Toffees were beginning to settle after a shaky opening 20 minutes. But City continued to probe and Andre Gomez had a worrying moment when he clipped David Silva on the edge of the penalty area, but referee Craig Pawson was unmoved. The home fans thought they’d made it to half time but not so.

Idrissa Gueye has been sulking rather since Everton blocked his move to PSG in January, and he took it out on Fernandinho, upending the City midfielder some 25 yards out. And when David Silva whipped in a ferocious cross Aymeric got the vital touch to divert it into the net.

Defender Aymeric Laporte help put Manchester City back on top of Premier League with win over Everton.

Defender Aymeric Laporte celebrates his first half injury time goal after missing a sitter in the opening minutes

That changed the half time team talks but the pattern of play continued and Everton keeper Jordan Pickford needed two chances to hold on to a fierce Sane shot. Sergio Aguero scored his tenth Premier League hat-trick  at the weekend, and he’s now just one short of Alan Shearer’s league record. The prolific striker is rarely out of the Premier League 2019 news, and he almost wrote some more when he was inches wide with a spectacular overhead kick.

With a quarter of the game left, Marco Silva brought Sigurdsson on to try to stretch the City defence but for all Everton’s endeavour the closest encounters came at the other end. After a quick break Silva teed up Raheem Sterling and his shot hit Tom Davies and flew over the bar.

Richarlison made a late appearance for the Toffees and caused a scare in the City box, seizing on a sloppy ball from Kyle Walker and fizzing a wicked ball across the goal but Ederson came out to clear.

And it was two big name City substitutes who sealed the points on 97 minutes, Kevin De Bruyne slid a ball through for Jesus and the young Brazilian beat Pickford at the second attempt.

Manchester City Gabriel Jesus substitutes and registers double lead win last kick of the Premier League match.

Gabriel Jesus off the bench to score a 97th minute goal and seals the points

Key Statistics

After Liverpool had failed to beat West Ham on Monday the Premier League 2019 betting markets swung back in Manchester City’s favour, and they are now clear favourites to win the title.

The Sky Blues completed the double over Everton for the first time since 2014, when they won the title under Manuel Pellegrini. But the Toffees have now lost four of their last five home games, and have conceded more goals from set pieces than any other team in the league…12.

What’s next?

Well, that all means City are back at the top of the Premier League since early December, but that could all change again pretty soon of course. Keep up with the us predictions as we approach the season climax. Mine is that City will go on to win the title.

The Sky Blues can really assert their position as favourites to retain the title, with a win over fourth placed Chelsea on Sunday. Maurizio Sarri has been having a difficult time motivating his players recently…but then he does keep criticising them!

After seven defeats in ten, Vicarage Road would not be Marco Silva’s choice for his next game, but Everton must take on a dangerous Watford side which sits in eighth, a place above the Toffees.

 

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Silva not feeling the pressure

Marco Silva says he retains the faith of Everton owner Farhad Moshiri regardless of his side's poor form.

The Portuguese was appointed in the summer of 2018 after first being linked with Goodison Park while in charge of Watford the previous autumn and his arrival was seen as a long-term solution following a chaotic season.

Silva and new Director of Football Marcel Brands set about improving the squad with the arrivals of the likes of Yerry Mina, Lucas Digne and club record signing Richarlison.

All three are 25 or under and the coach says the club made a conscious decision to recruit younger players as they look to build for the future.

Inevitably results have been mixed, prompting questions regarding Silva's future and his side will again be tested on Wednesday at home to Manchester City.

Everton are 9/1 to win the game, with the draw 21/4 and the Citizens priced at 3/10 and a victory for the hosts will lift them up to ninth above Saturday's opponents the Hornets.

Qualifying for European football on a consistent basis is the club's long-term goal and Silva says he and Moshiri are happy to take the rough with the smooth on their path towards glory.

"It's something I've felt since the first day I joined the club," Silva said. "You are in this job, it's (the scrutiny) normal. When you are winning games people say good things, when the results are not what you expect, this type of situation is normal.

"This is nothing new in our club. If you look at the last three seasons at Everton, it's something you listen to not every week but almost every month.

"About the confidence he has shown to me, you are always in contact. I know his feelings and what our project is."

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Sane welcomes title battle

Manchester City forward Leroy Sane says it is more enjoyable in some ways to be locked in a real tussle to try and win the Premier League title again this season.

The Citizens eased to the title last season with few problems, amassing 100 points to finish 19 points clear of the chasing pack.

However, the defence of their crown is proving far more difficult, with City locked in a three-way battle with Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.

And Germany international Sane is enjoying the challenge of trying to fend off their rivals, with the Citizens able to move top of the table with a win at Everton on Wednesday evening.

He told his club's official matchday magazine: "I think it's kind of more enjoyable because it motivates you and it makes you want to work harder.

"It's never easy to defend a title. I think this is sometimes the reason for it – if we win then people want to win against the champions and be able to say they have beaten the champions.

"That's why it is so difficult for the next season. All the teams want to play at their best level, everyone wants to beat the champions, or want to be the champion themselves.

"We all know what we did last season, we're still doing it this season and we all know exactly what we have to do and that's the important thing."

City can be backed at 5/6 to claim the Premier League title this season, with Liverpool priced at 11/10 and Tottenham available at 16/1.

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Klopp talks up three-horse race

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says the battle for the Premier League title is most definitely a three-horse race, with Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur the challengers.

A 1-1 draw at West Ham on Monday evening left the Reds three points clear of the Citizens, with Spurs a further two points behind of the Merseysiders.

However, Klopp is not worried by the challenge ahead, despite seeing his side drop seven points from their last five league games.

He told his club's official website following the draw at the London Stadium: "I think since five, six, seven, eight weeks we talked about a two-horse race.

"Now Tottenham came from behind, they have a very difficult situation and deal with it brilliantly, I have to say.

"Winning games very late with a lot of injury problems as well, that's great. For me, they are 100 per cent in the race.

"We have to fight, it is not about pressure – it's about enjoying the situation you are in. We have 62 points, have lost one game in the league season so far, which is very positive."

Liverpool are 11/10 to be crowned Premier League champions this season, with City available at 5/6 and Spurs 16/1.

Reigning champions City have an opportunity to move to the top of the table on goal difference on Wednesday, when they head to Goodison Park to take on Everton.

The Citizens have won the last two meetings of the two teams by 3-1 scorelines and are 3/10 to take all three points again on Wednesday evening.

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Premier League: Manchester City Eyeing to Repeat History, Again!

Everton vs Manchester City

Manchester City beat Everton twice in 2018 by a 3-1 scoreline. Now, the Sky Blues will look to replicate that success this 2019.

Pep Guardiola’s men are in a tight race with Liverpool for the Premier League title, and a win at Goodison Park will help them overtake the Reds at the top spot … at least for a few days or so.

Luckily for Manchester City, they couldn’t ask for a better time to face Everton, with the Toffees struggling after losing three of their last four games in all competitions.

Talking Points

Hectic schedule for the Sky Blues

Manchester City have woken up. After losing to Newcastle United in one of the most shocking Premier League 2019 results, they bounced back big and demolished Arsenal on Monday at the Etihad Stadium.

Remarkably, Sergio Aguero hit a hat-trick in the game, including a first-minute header that stunned the Gunners. Arsenal levelled matters quickly, but Guardiola’s men—led by the in-form Aguero—were just too much to handle.

Aguero now has 14 league goals to his name, and it doesn’t look like he’s stopping any time soon after scoring in their past four games in all competitions.

The problem now for Guardiola and City is how they will line up against Everton. After all, City are scheduled to play Chelsea three days after their visit to Merseyside.

Manchester City are nursing injuries to skipper Vincent Kompany and defender Benjamin Mendy, and while the two could recover in time against Everton, it’s hard for the team to plan out their roster with plenty of uncertainties.

Every game is a must-win for City, considering that they are the ones chasing for the top spot. With that said, tweaks or minutes restriction could be made against Everton, and that could either work or spell trouble for the team.

Everton and their battle against inconsistency

As mentioned, if there’s one advantage for the Manchester team in this game, it’s the fact that Everton have been struggling in recent weeks.

Put simply, the Toffees are the model of “inconsistency” in the English top-flight. After winning four, drawing three and losing just two times in their first nine league fixtures, Everton have now lost six of their last nine.

Everton have been struggling in the Premier League so far, winning only 2 of their last 5 matches

Marco Silva looking frustrated during Everton’s Premier League loss at home against the Wolverhampton Wanderers

Even more alarming, Marco Silva’s outfit has conceded 18 in that stretch, highlighted by the 2-6 drubbing they suffered at home before Christmas, at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur.

Everton haven’t also won against a top-six team in the first half of the campaign, losing to Liverpool, City, Tottenham, Manchester United and Arsenal and drawing with Chelsea.

Most recently, the Toffees bowed down to seventh-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-3. That game was also played at Goodison.

Silva, who is now under increasing pressure due to the club’s recent performances, have encouraged his team to stay motivated. And they can certainly use it as they try to end their skid.

“For me, motivation is like obligation,” Silva said, via The Guardian. “When you are professional and working in a club like Everton, the obligation is to be motivated, to be focused. You can perform well and you can have a fantastic afternoon, and everything comes good to you. But if not then the players are on the pitch and they have to solve the problem in that moment with our plan. So when you are talking to me about ambition or motivation or focus, then to me that is the obligation of the player.”

History

Two 3-1 losses to Manchester City aren’t that encouraging for Everton though.

In their meeting last December, Guardiola’s charges scored two second-half goals to consolidate their victory.  Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling both found the back of the net back then, with the former scoring twice including their opening goal.

Meanwhile, in their last visit to Goodison, the Sky Blues ran riot with three first-half goals. Leroy Sane scored as early as the fourth minute followed by Jesus eight minutes later. Sterling added another one just moments before the break.

Everton won 4-0 against Manchester City in 2017, but that was their only league win against the reigning champions since 2013.

Betting Tip

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Everton vs Manchester City Asian Handicap Manchester City -1.75 @ 2.12
February 7, 03:45 (GMT+8)

The Premier League 2019 betting odds, as expected, favour the champs. Asian Handicap Betting at us even suggests a one-sided affair—just like their recent encounters.

It’s hard to argue with the odds given the form of the two teams. It’s always enticing to back the underdog in a battle of famous clubs, but betting against Manchester City this time might be a foolish move.

There’s always a certain increase in motivation for teams when playing against the champions, but I’m not counting on Everton to do it. They just seem out of sorts right now.

Everton’s defence is suspect, and I expect City to take advantage of that.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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Silva seeking Toffees solutions

Everton head coach Marco Silva accepts that now is the time for himself and his players to show a reaction, having lost five of their last seven Premier League games.

The Toffees were beaten 3-1 at home by Wolves on Saturday, with Silva well aware that recent performances have not been good enough and that an improvement is needed sooner rather than later.

He told the club's official website: "It is now our obligation to turn things to our favour to give something back, firstly to ourselves, but of course to our fans.

"Now is not the moment to find excuses. Now it is the moment to find solutions.

"Many things went wrong against Wolves. When you lose like that, playing at home and giving easy things to our opponent, it is a tough afternoon.

"Wolves were better than us, but when I can see how we lost the game – making it too easy – it is really tough for me and for us as a team."

Next up for the Merseysiders is a visit from reigning Premier League champions Manchester City, with the Citizens having claimed a 3-1 win in this fixture at Goodison Park last season.

City also won the meeting of the two sides at the Etihad Stadium earlier this season by a 3-1 margin, with Gabriel Jesus having scored three times across those two matches.

Everton can be backed at 17/4 to secure a draw against the Citizens, with the Toffees 4/6 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table this season.

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