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Everton in no-win situation as champions Manchester City arrive at Goodison Park

The Toffees need a result to turn their season around - even if that directly helps them lot across the park

Manchester City v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

To say Evertonians find themselves in a tricky situation on Wednesday is an understatement.

The Toffees’ season is collapsing all around them and they are in desperate need of a victory, but three points would directly help Liverpool in their quest for a first title in 29 years.

There has been some intense debate on social media about the fans’ feelings going into this game.

Supporters happy to see Everton lose were criticised by fellow supporters, who insist they would want Everton to win regardless. You can understand both points of view - Everton always has to come first and a win over the champions could revive our flagging season after a grim few weeks.

However, other fans will point out that in a season where Everton are likely to finish anywhere between seventh and 13th, is three points against Man City going to make much difference compared to what would happen if ultimately it helped Liverpool win the title?

I think it is best to try and put a positive spin on things - if Everton win, great, if they lose, then I won’t feel as bad as I have about other defeats in recent weeks.

All this talk is likely to be irrelevant anyway as Everton haven’t got a chance if they continue to perform like they have in recent weeks.

Everton FC v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Saturday against Wolves was particularly bad. Wolves are a talented, confident and well-organised team, but what was so galling about the defeat was that they didn’t have to try very hard or play very well to get the result.

A soft penalty and yet another set piece goal gave them the advantage at half-time. And after another defensive lapse saw them make it 3-1 you knew it was game over, even with 24 minutes still to go.

The sight of supporters streaming out of the ground well before the final whistle highlights the apathy surrounding the club at present. The fans have just had enough of being stuck on this constant cycle of raised expectations followed by disappointing let downs.

Farhad Moshiri has already come out to offer his public backing of Marco Silva, insisting that the Portuguese is part of a long-term plan at Goodison Park.

Such promises of stability are welcome - and needed - but it does mean that we will have to put up with some more short-term pain until at least the summer, when Marcel Brands can continue his task of rebuilding this bloated, ill-balanced and underperforming squad.

The opposition

Let’s face it, we are all Manchester City fans right now.

After last year’s record-breaking title win, Pep Guardiola’s side have found things much tougher this time round in the face of a sustained title challenge from Liverpool.

Manchester City v Arsenal FC - Premier League Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

Back-to-back defeats over Christmas saw Liverpool surge in front, but the Reds’ recent blip has allowed City to narrow the gap from seven points to three. Liverpool’s draw at West Ham on Monday means City can go top for the first time since early December with three points at Goodison Park.

With a Carabao Cup final to come at the end of the month as well as the FA Cup and Champions League, this season has the potential to be very special.

That’s nothing to do with us unfortunately, though Evertonians are more than interested in what happens in this increasingly fascinating title race.

Team news

Everton will again be without Yerry Mina and Phil Jagielka as well as Leighton Baines, who was forced off against Wolves with a rib injury.

However, Silva is boosted by the return to fitness of Idrissa Gueye and availability after suspension of Lucas Digne.

Projected starting XI

Everton: Pickford, Digne, Keane, Zouma, Coleman, Gueye, Gomes, Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Lookman, Tosun.

Final word

I think all Evertonians can agree on one thing - that the team should at least show some spirit and fight on Wednesday after their vacuous performance against Wolves.

That is still unlikely to be enough against a City side who look to be hitting top form again. But I get the impression the fans would not be too disappointed with that eventuality.