Micah Richards is hoping City can end a dismal run of results against Everton this evening with a victory that would see the Blues top the Premier League table at Christmas for the first time.
The Toffees have won their last three games at the City of Manchester Stadium without conceding a goal and Richards knows tonight’s game will be just as difficult as the previous three, despite the visitors’ recent poor run of form.
“I don’t know what it is about them when they play us, but they seem to enjoy it!” he said.
“They’re a team that works really hard for each other and if you look at them individually, they’ve got some great players.
Fresh from skippering City in Turin, Richards is also aware how important it is the Blues extend their unbeaten run, which currently stands at eight, though he believes Everton are in a false position in the league table.
“When I look at where they are in the table, I just think ‘why are you down there?’” he said. “But some teams have that sort of season where they just can’t seem to get going.
They’ve got a great manager and great fans, but they’ve been on a poor run of late – we just have to make sure they don’t break their duck at our place!
One of Richards’ rare goals for City secured a draw in the dying seconds at Goodison Park four years ago, but he also recalls a similar situation that he was involved in with Tim Cahill late in 2008 that didn’t go his way.
“I remember marking Cahill at our place a couple of seasons ago,” he said. “It was in the last minute and Richard Dunne sort of cleared it out, but Cahill just got above me. I was so devastated as well because I thought I’d had a good game that day!
“They are always a good side, but hopefully we can improve our recent record against them tonight. It won’t be long before they’re back to their best – but preferably after this game!”