By Amir Mir
Michael Owen will not be surprised if John Stones is rested when Manchester City take on his former team Everton on Saturday afternoon.
Centre-back Stones moved to the Etihad Stadium from Goodison Park for a fee of £47.5 million in the summer, making him the world’s second most expensive defender.
The 22-year-old will be expected to line-up against his former teammates at the weekend, in what will be a close contest between Pep Guardiola’s and Ronald Koeman’s men.
Former Liverpool and Manchester United striker Owen has backed both teams to score at the weekend, as he gave his reasoning as to why Stones may be rested for the clash.
“Everton, not so long ago, had a terrific record at the Etihad winning four on the bounce,” Owen wrote in his Bet Victor column. “But that is no longer the case and City are now unbeaten in their last five against the Blues at the Etihad.
“It will be interesting to see what reception the away supporters give John Stones although it wouldn’t surprise me if the centre-back was rested having played both games for England during the international break.”
Guardiola’s City had their 100 per cent start to the Premier League campaign ended, when they were beaten 2-0 by Tottenham at White Hart Lane, prior to the international break.
Nonetheless, the Manchester club are still top of the league table with 18 points from their seven games and the in-form Sergio Aguero amongst their ranks.
Their opponents are fifth with 18 points, with Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku matching Aguero’s five goal tally so far this season.