Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott is ready for the trip to former club Everton and denied his move has inspired the Toffees strong record in the fixture.
Lescott moved to the Etihad Stadium in a £22million deal in 2009, which was not received well by Everton manager David Moyes at the time and inspired some bad feeling from the fans.
It has been suggested the effort exerted by the Merseysiders to achieve a record of five wins and one draw in the last seven meetings with Manchester City could have been motivated by Lescott’s transfer.
However, the 30-year-old does not believe his case alone is behind Everton’s success and pointed towards his experiences against the Citizens while a Blues player.
“It might be the case that it fires them up, but when I was at Everton we beat City on a number of occasions, so I don’t think it’s all down to my transfer,” he is quoted as saying in the Manchester Evening News.
“I wouldn’t say they raise their game against us, because they are always tough opponents against any team. Goodison is a tough away ground.”
Manchester City will be hoping to pile further misery on Moyes’ side early on Saturday afternoon as they suffered a surprising 3-0 loss at home to Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup quarter-finals last weekend.
It is also a crucial for Mancini’s side to come away with all three points if they are to at least keep up some pressure on rival Manchester United in the title race.
However, they will have to do it without key men Sergio Aguero and captain Vincent Kompany as both are struggling with injury.