On Monday evening, less than 48 hours after the final whistle blew in their Boxing Day wins, Everton and Manchester City will once again take to the pitch for another Premier League match.
Carlo Ancelotti is one of the few managers to have actually won more games against Pep Guardiola sides than he has lost. However, his first encounter against City in charge of Everton produced an increasingly predictable defeat.
City have won their last five consecutive meetings with Everton though Guardiola's only reverse against the Toffees was a significant one - his former Barcelona teammate Ronald Koeman masterminded a shocking 4-0 win to inflict the heaviest league loss of the Catalan's managerial career back in January 2017.
While both sides are in good form, a repeat of such a scoreline seems fanciful.
Where to Watch
When Is Kick Off? Monday 28 December
What Time Is Kick Off? 20:00 (GMT)
Where Is it Played? Goodison Park
TV Channel/Live Stream? Amazon Prime Video
Referee? Martin Atkinson
Everton's recent spurt of good results is even more impressive considering the personnel missing from these successes. However, the return of Seamus Coleman against Sheffield United on Saturday may be followed up by the reintroduction of James Rodriguez who has missed the last five matches.
Monday's visit from City comes too soon for Allan, Lucas Digne and Richarlison, while Fabian Delph is alongside long-term absentee Jean-Philppe Gbamin in the treatment room.
Gabriel Jesus bagged a brace the last time these clubs met but will be unable to replicate his scoring exploits after testing positive for COVID-19. Kyle Walker has also contracted the virus and Eric Garcia is lacking match fitness.
Everton: Pickford; Coleman, Mina, Holgate, Godfrey; Doucoure, Davies; Iwobi, Sigurdsson, Bernard; Calvert-Lewin
Manchester City: Ederson; Cancelo, Stones, Dias, Mendy; Rodri, Gundogan; Sterling, De Bruyne, Foden; Torres
Ancelotti's latest tactical tweak at the helm of Everton has seen the Toffees cope admirably in the absence of their star man James. With a back four comprised of four natural centre-backs, Everton have won their last four Premier League outings - against some fierce opposition in the form of Chelsea and Leicester City - conceding just one goal in the process.
City themselves have enjoyed a parsimonious streak. While the goals may not quite be as free-flowing, Guardiola's side are unbeaten in their last ten matches across all competitions, letting in just two goals in this streak.
Here's how each side has fared in their last five outings.
Sheffield United 0-1 Everton (26/12)
Everton 0-2 Manchester United (23/12)
Everton 2-1 Arsenal (19/12)
Leicester City 2-1 Everton (16/12)
Everton 1-0 Chelsea (12/12)
Manchester City 2-0 Newcastle United (26/12)
Arsenal 1-4 Manchester City (22/12)
Southampton 0-1 Manchester City (19/12)
Manchester City 1-1 West Bromwich Albion (15/12)
Manchester United 0-0 Manchester City (12/12)
Everton, in their latest guise under Ancelotti which could very well be subject to change, have leaned upon set pieces and unfamiliar scorers for their goals. While Gylfi Sigurdsson matched his Premier League tally in the space of four games (two goals) the club's top scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin has gone four matches without finding the net.
City go into Monday's fixture with the division's best defensive record but half of the goals they have conceded have come from either dead ball deliveries or the penalty spot.
Ancelotti's side may sit above City in the lofty position of second place, but a win for Guardiola would see his club leapfrog Everton having played a game fewer. They might not quite boast the attacking might of seasons gone before, but City's new-found resolve at the back should be enough to see them through in a game between two of the division's in-form sides.
Prediction: Everton 1-2 Manchester City
Source : 90min