Pep Guardiola may already have dropped triple Man City selection hint for Everton clash

Everton prepare to face leaders Manchester City in the Premier League at Goodison Park.

Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Sean Dyche will scarcely need reminding about the sheer task Everton face on Sunday.

In the midst of a Premier League relegation battle, a clash against Manchester City isn’t exactly what is required - especially in the form they find themselves in.

While the Toffees might have emphatically put Brighton & Hove Albion to the sword with a 5-1 victory earlier this week, they’re not out of the mire. Far from it. Everton might be two points above the drop zone but the scrap at the foot of the table can change swifty. If 18th-placed Leeds United were to defeat Newcastle United, the Blues will be back in the bottom three come kick-off at Goodison Park the following day.

There won’t be too many giving Everton a chance against City. Pep Guardiola’s side having won their past 10 league games, which has seen them leapfrog Arsenal and put themselves in the driving seat to claim a third successive title.

But it's not just the Premier League that City are gunning for. They're aiming to match their Manchester rivals and win the treble. In truth, claiming the Champions League alone would likely be enough to satisfy Cityzens. Despite their best efforts and spending hundreds of millions of pounds in the process, Europe's elite club competition has eluded City. They were beaten in the 2021 final by Chelsea and have reached the semi-finals on two occasions.

That might change this season. Guardiola's men are quite possibly 180 minutes away from claiming a maiden Champions League crown. Their last-four clash against Real Madrid is finely poised following a 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu. The return leg at the Etihad Stadium takes place on Wednesday - three days after City's trip to Goodison.

It means that Guardiola may have somewhat of a quandary when it comes to his team selection against Everton. The City boss would likely want to field his strongest XI but the risk of injury against the Madrid encounter will have to be factored in. Certainly, if the 51-goal sensation Erling Haaland was rested then that would be welcomed by the Blues. The same goes for talisman Kevin De Bruyne.

Yet City boast an embarrassment of riches - with their squad the strongest in the top flight. Left on the bench in the Real draw were forward trio Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez and Julian Alvarez. All three had featured in City's 2-1 win over Leeds United last weekend and could be lined up to feature against Everton to replace the likes of Haaland, De Bruyne and Jack Grealish respectively.