Man City boss Pep Guardiola singles out ‘exceptional’ Everton forward ahead of Premier League clash

Man City

Man City boss Pep Guardiola has singled out Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin as an ‘exceptional’ player.

His comments, as reported by Manchester World, come ahead of the New Year’s Eve Premier League clash between City and Everton.

Man City must be ready for ‘exceptional’ Calvert-Lewin

Calvert-Lewin has struggled with injuries in recent times, with the striker missing a large chunk of the current campaign with a knee injury.

He has managed just six appearances this season, scoring one goal. But Guardiola is well aware of the threat that the forward possesses.

“Unfortunately for him [Calvert-Lewin] and Everton, he was injured for the last period, doesn’t have the consistency to play and this is difficult,” said Guardiola.

“But when he is on top he’s exceptional; long balls, second balls in the box. He’s a dangerous player.”

Guardiola in the dark about Everton

Man City go into the game having beaten Leeds 3-1 on Wednesday evening. Lethal forward Erling Haaland grabbed a brace at Elland Road, with Rodri also on target.

The league victory came after the League Cup round of 16 win over Liverpool the week before, in what was City’s first game back after the 2022 World Cup. Everton meanwhile lost their first match back, losing 2-1 to Wolves at Goodison Park on Boxing Day.

Guardiola has admitted he doesn’t know what to expect from the Toffees on New Year’s Eve, who currently sit 16th in the league table.

Frank Lampard’s side have won just three of their 16 matches, drawing five and losing eight. City meanwhile, who sit second behind Arsenal, have won 11 of their 15 games. The Manchester outfit have two draws and two losses in the current campaign.

“I don’t know what Everton is going to do,” said Man City boss Guardiola. “If they defend deep we have to know how to handle that, the transition from [Jordan] Pickford is so fast.

“The quality is there – we have a feeling Everton have exceptional, really good players. In this period of the calendar it can be a problem.  Just three days after the game against Leeds, which was so demanding. We have to be ready again.”

Man City

Man City boss honours Brazil icon Pele

Guardiola also took time to honour the legendary Pele, who has passed away at the age of 82. The Brazilian is the only player to win three World Cups, and was named FIFA’s Player of the Century in 2000.

Man City manager Guardiola mentioned the likes of current players Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the same light as the Brazil icon.

“Football is football thanks to these types of people, players and human beings,” said Guardiola. “What he has done for football is there and always will remain.

“He didn’t just win three World Cups – it was a new thing when he came up. I was not born when he was playing but it’s like a good movie, no?

“The legacy after many years is still there. We are still talking all these years later. Pele, Maradona, Cruyff, Messi, Beckenbauer, Cristiano Ronaldo – these players will be forever, will be eternal.”