Saturday's clash between Everton and Manchester City is crucial for both sides. The Toffees must get back on track to stay within striking distance of a European spot, while City are trying to put some pressure on rival Manchester United in the title race.
Everton were a Champions League contender in the early going but have faded recently. They currently sit in seventh place, two points behind Arsenal for the Europa League spot. A victory over City would put them right back in strong contention.
While City's hopes of repeating as champions are undoubtedly fading with each passing victory by United, there's still an outside chance of a comeback. They have no margin for error if they are going to at least make it close, though.
They need all three points.
Let's take a look at all the important viewing information for the match, followed by a few players to watch and a prediction as Everton and Manchester City battle for key points.
Where: Goodison Park in Liverpool, England
When: Saturday, March 16 at 8:45 a.m. ET
Live Stream: ESPN3.com
Everton Player to Watch: Marouane Fellaini
Fellaini got off to a terrific start, scoring goals against Manchester United and Aston Villa in the season's first two matches to help Everton collect all six points. It continued until about the middle of December, but his play has fallen off since that point.
The Belgian star has scored just four goals in his last 14 appearances, including only one over the past five. When you pair his struggles with the club's lack of attacking talent—no other player has more than six league goals—it's easy to see why the Toffees are fading.
They need Fellaini to be more aggressive. He's at his best when he's moving forward and using his size and strength to create advantages around the box. The more assertive he is in the attacking third, the better Everton's chances are of earning at least a draw.
Manchester City Player to Watch: Edin Dzeko
Sergio Aguero was ruled out of contention for the match as he travels to Argentina for treatment on a lingering knee injury, according to Richard Jolly of ESPN. This puts more pressure on Dzeko to lead the attack against Everton.
The 26-year-old striker leads the club in league goals with 12. The only reason it's not a more impressive total is City's depth up front, with Carlos Tevez joining Aguero and Dzeko. They share the wealth instead of one player putting up a huge total.
Dzeko should be able to find some space against an Everton back line that was exposed in a 3-0 FA Cup loss against Wigan last week. The first meeting between the sides ended in a draw because City couldn't capitalize on a big possession advantage.
He has to make sure history doesn't repeat itself.
Matchup to Watch: Jan Mucha vs. Joe Hart
It's weird to watch an Everton match without Tim Howard commanding the box. The workhorse goalkeeper remains sidelined with a back injury, which ended his extended Premier League start streak and put Mucha in the spotlight.
The Toffees backup was blitzed for three goals in a three-minute span in the FA Cup defeat. He will need to be prepared for a lot of action on Saturday. It also doesn't help that he'll be looking at one of the league's top keepers at the other end of the pitch.
City have kept four straight clean sheets—two courtesy of Hart in EPL play. This is a matchup where the second-place club have a clear edge, and it should be enough to earn them all three points after a hard-fought clash.
Manchester City 2, Everton 1