Phil Jagielka 300
PHIL JAGIELKA admits Manchester City have made a “frightening” start to the season – but is confident Everton can extend their hoodoo over Roberto Mancini’s men.
City have dropped only two points from their opening six games to lie second behind Premier League leaders Manchester United.
However, Everton have won seven of their last eight games against the Citizens including four successive victories at Eastlands.
David Moyes’s men continued their own encouraging form by securing progress to the last 16 of the Carling Cup with a 2-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday.
And Jagielka believes Everton possess real hope of a fifth straight win at City.
“City have been frightening, really,” said the centre-back. “Both Manchester team seem to have taken the Premier League by the scruff of the neck and City will be competing for the title this season and not fourth.
“If I do my homework, it will take me a few nights given the amount of strikers they have got. But we’ll have a rough idea of what squad they’ll play.
“It’s going to be a hard game, but we normally do quite well at City’s ground and hopefully that can continue.
“We are suited at times to play on the counter-attack and City play 4-2-4 so there’ll be a chance to hit them on the break. We did that last year with two early goals and managed to see that out until the end.”
After losing their opening game of the season to Queens Park Rangers, Everton have won four and drawn one of their next five games and stand sixth in the table.
And Jagielka has dismissed fears the exertions of extra time on Wednesday night will have any bearing on tomorrow’s early kick-off.
“The last couple of games have been positive with three decent results on the spin,” he said.
“We know we didn’t play well for the whole game against West Brom, but I think there was only one team going to win it in extra time.
“There’s not much you can do, you know there are no replays it could be extra time and possibly penalties we were much happier going into extra time than being out of it. I’m sure going into the game we will be okay.”
Tim Howard has been named Everton’s player of the month for August on the strength of his fine performance in saving a penalty and making several other impressive stops to secure a 1-0 win at Blackburn Rovers.
Meanwhile, Jose Baxter is set to join npower League One neighbours Tranmere Rovers on a month-long loan.