Sam Allardyce joked Manchester City's "£350million" transfer outlay might be behind their improvement this season as his Everton side look to keep their unbeaten run against Pep Guardiola's side going.
Runaway league leaders City head to Goodison Park this evening 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League and knowing they are on the verge of wrapping up the title in Guardiola's second campaign.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager won no trophies during his maiden term, with Everton's 4-0 thrashing over City last January one of the lowest points during a season where Guardiola's side finished third in the top flight, 15 points adrift of champions Chelsea.
Asked whether City's form this term was a result of Guardiola's adaptation to the Premier League or his players learning from him, Allardyce quipped: "And £350million... that will have a bit to do with it!
"In all fairness, the money's been really well spent. It's a lot of money but it's been spent on quality players over his short period there and I think those players have brought so much more to the team overall. The average age of the player has been reduced."