Tactical Breakdown: How can Rafa Benitez’s Everton halt Manchester City’s Winning Machine?

Everton (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images) /
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Everton midfielder Allan (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images) /

Allan has the most number of pressures in the Premier League

When it comes to pressing, Everton are already in pole position to do this with ease, the Toffees currently have the third-most pressures and second most successful pressures in the Premier League, more than the team they should be trying to emulate.

The most important player to this has been Allan, who has provided steel in midfield that Everton have missed ever since Idrissa Gueye, another player who caused City real problems when they played PSG in the Champions League, departed the club in 2019.

The Brazilian has completed the most pressures in the Premier League with 297, almost 50 more than second-best Conor Gallagher, he has also completed the second-most tackles in the league with 28 (tackles won).

The only problem for Everton is Allan’s partners in midfield, they need another defensively-minded player to partner Allan in midfield, somebody with experience and composure against a team like Manchester City, and Everton have the perfect player for that in Fabian Delph.

Delph has always been a controversial character when it comes to the Everton fanbase, but he has earned his way back into the starting eleven with some fantastic performances as of late and he definitely should be starting this game.

He has a good passing range and is good in the tackle, Everton will want to catch City by surprise in a similar fashion to Palace, and Delph is a good option to start attacks and get the ball to Everton’s more dangerous players.

The most difficult player to find is Everton’s own Conor Gallagher, they had their box-to-box beast in Abdoulaye Doucoure, who looked on track to have a career-best year before picking up a foot injury that has seen him miss Everton’s last three league games, where the Toffees picked up one point out of a possible nine.

When it comes to hard-working, technically gifted midfielders who won’t stop running for a majority of the game, Everton only really have one option, and that’s their breakout star, Anthony Gordon.

Now people may think this decision is ludicrous, playing the winger Anthony Gordon in central midfield, and yes it is a risk, but Gordon provides everything Everton could want, he’s energetic, can carry the ball himself and he proved for England’s U21s that he can get involved with the goals.

This is a decision that could massively backfire, and the 20-year old could be overrun by all the quality City have in midfield, but Gordon will see this game as a chance for him to break out to the wider Premier League audience, and his hunger to prove himself could be just what Everton need to walk away with some points in this fixture.