Man City currently sit fourth in the table on 42 points, but they are just seven points behind the leaders Chelsea. Everton, meanwhile, are down in seventh position – nine points off sixth-placed Manchester United ahead of this weekend's fixtures.
Eight wins, six draws and six defeats have brought Everton 30 points this season, with that total seeing them sit seventh in the table after 20 fixtures. They have been the 'best of the rest' this term, with all the signs pointing to the top six continuing to pull away from the chasing pack in the coming months.
Everton actually failed to win in the league between November 5 and December 10, but the Toffees have now been victorious in three of their last five, which is a run of form that started with a 2-1 success over Arsenal on December 13.
Ronald Koeman's side suffered a damaging 1-0 defeat at home to Liverpool on December 19, but have beaten Leicester City and Southampton either side of a 2-2 draw with Hull City, which has seen them occupy seventh position. In truth, seventh might well be the best that the club can hope for this season.
The gap to in-form Manchester United is nine points, which suggests that Everton will battle the likes of West Bromwich Albion, Bournemouth and Southampton for what should be a European finish. The Merseyside outfit, however, will need to improve their away form in the coming weeks.
Everton have actually only lost once on home soil in the league this term, but they have only won three of their 10 away fixtures and only scored 13 goals. Koeman has not been afraid to publicly criticise his players this season and he will be looking for his big characters to step forward in this match.
In terms of what is ahead for the Toffees, they will travel to Crystal Palace in their next league match on January 21 and having been knocked out of the FA Cup by Leicester City at the weekend. They are then not back in action until they visit Stoke City at the start of next month.
Recent form: LWLWDW
Recent form (all competitions): WLWDWL
Man City have actually lost as many Premier League games in their last seven (three) as they did in their previous 24. It has not quite been as straightforward as Guardiola might have expected, but the Citizens are still seen by many as the strongest title challengers to league leaders Chelsea this season.
A total of 42 points has left the former English champions in fourth position in the table, but they are only behind third-placed Tottenham Hotspur on goal difference and indeed just two points off second-placed Liverpool. Chelsea, meanwhile, sit seven points above Guardiola's team at the summit.
When Man City won each of their first six league games this season, Guardiola was praised for his immediate impact at the Etihad. However, after losing at Tottenham on October 2, they then went on a run which included just one victory from four top-flight matches.
They have lost three times in the league since the start of December – suffering back-to-back defeats against Chelsea and Leicester City last month and also losing 1-0 at Liverpool on New Year's Eve.
Pressure has been building on Guardiola in recent weeks and he gave a series of bizarre interviews following the Liverpool defeat, but a 2-1 win over Burnley on January 2 brought a more favourable response from the Spaniard.
Man City then put in arguably their best performance since beating Barcelona in the Champions League when they thumped West Ham United 5-0 in the third round of the FA Cup on Friday night. Almost everything came off for Guardiola's team last time out, but this is another big test in the Premier League.
It is not as if it gets any easier for Man City as they prepare to take on Tottenham in their next league match on January 21, while Guardiola will be wary of the fact that three of his team's four league defeats this season have come on their travels.
Recent form: LWWWLW
Recent form (all competitions): WWWLWW
Everton completed the signing of Morgan Schneiderlin from Manchester United on Thursday and the Frenchman is expected to be thrust straight into the action this weekend, despite only playing 11 minutes of league football this season.
Yannick Bolasie is still on the sidelines, but Maarten Stekelenburg, Aaron Lennon and James McCarthy could all feature, although Joel Robles is once again expected to be given the nod between the sticks.
Koeman also has a decision to make at centre-back as Ashley Williams prepares to be partnered with either Ramiro Funes Mori or Phil Jagielka, whose performances have been criticised this season. Ross Barkley could also drop to the bench as the England midfielder continues to show inconsistent form under a critical Koeman.
As for Man City, Fernandinho will miss out through suspension, while Ilkay Gundogan is still injured for Guardiola's team. Vincent Kompany and Leroy Sane, however, are both available after recovering from injury.
Fernando is pushing for a spot alongside Yaya Toure in central midfield, while John Stones is expected to start at centre-back after putting in a much-improved display against West Ham in the FA Cup last time out.
Everton possible starting lineup:
Joel; Coleman, Williams, Jagielka, Baines; Davies, Gueye, Schneiderlin; Lennon, Lukaku, Mirallas
Man City possible starting lineup:
Bravo; Sagna, Otamendi, Stones, Clichy; Toure, Fernando; Sterling, De Bruyne, Silva; Aguero
Head To Head
These two clubs have met on 181 occasions in all competitions and it is Man City that just lead the head-to-head 68 wins to Everton's 67, while the remaining 46 fixtures have finished in a share of the spoils.
It is a rivalry that dates back to December 1899, when Everton recorded a 2-1 victory in the first documented fixture between the two sides.
In terms of more recent history, Everton are actually winless in their last seven Premier League games against Man City – losing four times in the process. Indeed, the Citizens have won two of their last three games at Goodison Park, having lost the previous four to David Moyes's Everton between 2010 and 2013.
We say: Everton 1-1 Man City
Everton would certainly take a point, but Man City will be looking for all three as they bid to stay in touch with the teams around them. It should be an open and entertaining clash and we are struggling to separate the two teams at Goodison. Everton are strong at home and should have enough to secure a point.