The Toffees were their own worst enemy at Southampton last weekend, scoring a pair of own-goals to give the Saints a 2-0 victory.

Everton's defeat meant they missed the chance to provisionally leapfrog Arsenal into fourth place and a Champions League spot.

But a draw with City would guarantee Everton a place in next season's Europa League, while any points they took off City would do near-neighbours Liverpool a favour in the Reds' quest to win the title.

United States international Howard, reflecting on the loss at St Mary's Stadium, told the Liverpool Echo: "Hopefully we'll brush it aside as a one-off and we'll have it all to do against Manchester City.

"It will be wide open, a tactical battle with top players on display.

"Those games take care of themselves. Those are the easy games to play in.

"Gareth Barry (on loan from City) won't be there but we can cope," added Howard, who said Everton boss Roberto Martinez had got the team back on an even keel.

"The manager has been brilliant in that regard. He dismisses things very quickly, both brilliant performances and bad ones.

"We'll get it out of the way and have a good week of training again.

"We'll be focused from Monday to deal with what City have to throw at us."