Everton vs. Man City
Venue: Goodison Park
Kick off: 6:30PM
Manchester City’s pursuit of an unprecedented quadruple continues this evening as they travel to Everton for the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
The Toffees advanced to the last eight courtesy of a thrilling 5-4 victory over Tottenham Hotspur last time out, while Man City eased past Swansea City to book a trip to Goodison Park.
Bernard’s Everton career has not quite taken off in the way that he would have hoped after his cameo against Tottenham, but the Brazilian was the hero of the night against Jose Mourinho’s men as his 97th minute winner ended up proving decisive in extra time in round five, as the Toffees overcame Spurs 5-4 on Merseyside last month.
Since that memorable win, however, Everton’s fortunes have been mixed to say the least.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men have marched to victories over West Bromwich Albion, Southampton and most notably Liverpool, but back-to-back defeats to Chelsea and Burnley have left them five points adrift of the Champions League places with 10 games left to play.
Furthermore, the Toffees head into their battle with City having lost three of their last four on home soil – as a spate of injuries continues to bedevil Ancelotti – but they have already recorded their best finish in the FA Cup since the 2015-16 campaign, when they were eliminated by Manchester United in the semi-finals.
Playing in front of an empty Wembley is something that teams will likely never get used to, but having the opportunity to step out onto that turf is more than enough motivation for Everton to try to pull off a monumental shock this weekend, and they have managed to prevail in their last four FA Cup matches at Goodison Park.
However, with just two wins to boast from their last seven on familiar territory, Everton would need a huge slice of luck to get one over Manchester City, who recently saw a disagreement between player and manager over their chances of a famous quadruple.
Man City left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko affirmed that the runaway Premier League leaders are in with a realistic shot of four trophies this season, but Pep Guardiola was quick to refute the Ukrainian’s comments by claiming that a quadruple is “never” likely to happen in football.
However, if any team is capable of completing a clean sweep of trophies, it is Man City, who have an EFL Cup final against Tottenham Hotspur to look forward to next month after easing past Borussia Monchengladbach 4-0 on aggregate to book their spot in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
As expected, Man City needed no time at all to get back on track after their shock derby defeat to Manchester United as they have strung a set of three consecutive wins together – amassing 10 goals in that run – and they will be determined to improve on their 2019-20 FA Cup run, where Arsenal surprisingly knocked them out in the semi-finals.
The 2019 FA Cup winners could make the last four of the competition three years in a row for the first time since 1934 this week, and they head to Goodison Park having prevailed in 10 of their last 12 FA Cup ties away from home – most recently losing to old foes Wigan Athletic in 2018 – and their current winning streak on the road in all competitions now stands at 13 matches.
Everton possible XI: Virginia, Godfrey, Mina, Keane, Digne, Allan, Davies, Gomes, Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin.
Man City possible XI: Steffen, Cancelo, Dias, Laporte, Zinchenko, Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Torres, Aguero, Sterling.