Everton-Manchester City Preview
By TOM BENNETT
STATS European Football Writer
(AP) -- Manchester City will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing week when they welcome Everton to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Manuel Pellegrini's City (3-1-2) were comfortably beaten by European champions Bayern Munich on Wednesday and still reeling from a shock 3-2 defeat to Aston Villa in the Premier League last weekend, but defender Micah Richards is keen to get back playing again as soon as possible.
"Sometimes you have to hold your hands up and say you were beaten by the better team," said Richards. "We want to play again quickly and get it out of our system. We are used to being better than everyone else. Without being cocky, we are used to playing nice football but we got taught a lesson. It is disappointing to be on the receiving end.
"We have had two disappointing results. We don't like to lose two games back to back. We have got a winning mentality built into us. We have to put it right on Saturday. We are at home and we will give a good performance and hopefully get three points."
Everton (3-3-0) are the only remaining unbeaten team in the top flight, riding three straight wins to the top four in the table. Manager Roberto Martinez is pleased with his side's position having targeted such a rise, but is fully aware it is too early to be reading anything into league placings after just six games.
"It was a great target before, and now it's a great target to maintain for as long as we can," Martinez said. "But obviously we are in October and now is not the time to be looking at the table. Now is the time to keep those standards, to keep growing and keep all the players fit so we have that competition that is going to drive us until the end of the season."
Manchester City are without Jack Rodwell (muscle strain) and Martin Demichelis (knee) through injury, while Everton have doubts over Kevin Mirallas (ankle), Steven Pienaar (knee) and Antolin Alcaraz (groin).
The Toffees took four points off Manchester City last season - the most of any team in the Premier League. No team has such a strong record against the Citizens as Everton of late, with the Merseyside club winning nine of the last 12 Premier League meetings and losing just one of the last six at the Etihad. City have kept just a single clean sheet in their last 15 league meetings with Everton.
City are looking to avoid their first back-to-back Premier League defeats since October 2010, but will be confident of doing so after picking up eight wins from their last nine home games. They have scored at least once in 52 straight matches at the Etihad stretching back to November 2010 - the longest active streak in the Premier League - and have kept nine clean sheets in their last 13 there.
An Everton win would achieve their first run of four straight league victories since 2008.
Updated October 3, 2013