Helping hand? Manchester City won’t have it easy say Everton, as they seek to end Goodison Park blues

Manuel Pellegrini can expect no favours from Roberto Martinez when he takes his side to Goodison Park on Saturday evening.

Manchester City can return to the top of the Premier League table with a win but have an abysmal record against Everton on Merseyside having only won twice there in the Premier League era.

Martinez has guided Everton to their record points total in the Premier League and was quick to deny any questions about the integrity of the club, as a victory for the Toffees would almost guarantee their bitter rivals Liverpool the Premier League title.

“We are not in a season where we are playing for nothing, just making up the numbers. We are not that sort of football club,” said the Spaniard.

“The values we have as a football club mean we would never contemplate not to give our all in a game, especially when we have so much to fight for.

“I don’t think there is any doubt about the integrity of our football club towards the league, we are a club who want to win every single game.

“As to helping other teams, that is not our way we do our work. It is not as if we are coming out on the pitch to do anyone a favour.”

The midfield battle is going to be pivotal in this clash and City will hope that Yaya Toure, who finished third in the PFA Player of the Year, can dominate the game.

City do have the added advantage in this area as Gareth Barry will be ineligible for the game against his parent club, much to the annoyance of his manager, who has criticised the loan transfer system in its current form.

“In my eyes, when you reach an agreement for a player to go, whether that be a loan or permanent transfer, then he should be allowed to play,” said Martinez.

“It is a decision you make in a transfer window and I don’t see it as a healthy way to treat a loan player. If you make the decision to allow a player to go then it’s because, for whatever reason, everyone is happy to see him at another club for that season.

“The loan system has a real need in the modern game. It is a very interesting debate and should be something that needs to be looked at.”

During his press conference Pellegrini praised the work of his opposite number and indicated that it is not going to be an easy game for his side against an Everton team that still have lingering hopes of a Champions League berth. 

“I think Everton at any stage of the season will always be a difficult team,” he said.

“They play very well. Roberto (Martinez) is doing a very good job there, the same way he did before at Wigan. He is playing for Champions League, Europa League.

“We don’t expect anything from Everton. We are sure we are going to have a very tough game there.”

Main image courtesy of Alex Morton/Action Images, with thanks.

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