Pep Guardiola will not change Manchester City’s approach amid an impressive winning streak, only looking ahead to Wednesday’s game against Everton.
City have won 16 consecutive games in all competitions, a record among top-tier English clubs, including 11 Premier League victories.
That streak has brought City seven points clear of Manchester United and Leicester City on top with Everton’s game yet to be played.
However, Guardiola’s team has achieved “perfection,” he says, and cannot allow his focus to wane.
“We never reached perfection,” Guardiola said. “What we have done, the 16 games in a row, the 11 in the Premier League, is think about the next game, that’s the only secret.
“All the games that remain to be played, a lot can happen. All I think about is Everton.
“We are in the middle of February, a lot of points (to play). We will lose points and that is the moment when I hope to see the reaction of all of us.”
Both Guardiola and rival Carlo Ancelotti revealed notable team news ahead of Wednesday’s game.
City will not be able to count on player Ilkay Gundogan, but record scorer Sergio Aguero is back in the game and superstar talisman Kevin De Bruyne is “getting better, really better.”
Everton will again be without top scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the meantime.
“Calvert-Lewin is really important because it gives us the opportunity to play in different ways,” Ancelotti said. “Without him, we lose some opportunities to play.
“But we played very well without him and Richarlison against the Wolves, so I’m not too worried about the players who won’t play.”
PLAYERS TO SEE
Everton – Allan
Calvert-Lewin is still a big mistake, but Everton have also suffered in Allan’s absence. The midfielder, who returns to the contest, has not played since mid-December. Everton have won 50 per cent of their games and accumulated 1.7 points per game both with and without Allan, but it surely could have played a role in the disappointing losses at home to Newcastle United and Fulham.
Manchester City – Gabriel Jesus
Jesus has found his way in recent weeks and should welcome the prospect of facing Everton. He has seven goals in the Premier League against the Toffees, more than against any other team in the competition. The Brazilian forward has scored in five consecutive Premier League games against Everton, the best joint streak of its kind against the Merseyside club (also Les Ferdinand and Ian Wright, five games).
KEY FACTS OF OPTA
– Everton have won just one of their last 14 Premier League matches against Manchester City (D4 L9), winning 4-0 in January 2017 at Goodison Park.
– The Toffees have lost their last two Premier League home games, the latest of which lost three in a row in March 2016 to Roberto Martinez, while manager Ancelotti has not lost three straight home league games since November 2006, when he was coach of Milan.
– City have won all nine of their Premier League games in 2021; they could become the first team in top flight history to win their first 10 games in a calendar year, breaking the record of nine wins previously set by Bolton Wanderers in 1906 and Manchester United in 2009.
– Everton have won just three of their 41 Premier League matches against teams that start the day at the top of the league (D9 L29) and have not won in their last 12 such matches (D4 L8). However, his most recent win against a higher side of the table was against City in January 2012 at Goodison Park.
– Among the 137 teams Ancelotti has faced more than once in the league in his coaching career, his worst loss percentage is in games against City, losing four of his five games against them (80 percent) .
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.