The Toffees’s domestic campaign this season has been quite satisfactory. Yet, the finish line is still afar and they have not sealed any secure post for European competition next season in Premier League. In FA Cup, they are expected to repeat their last glory in 1995. Unfortunately, a big challenge is already standing in their way at the quarter final as Carlo Ancellotti’s men are facing off Manchester City this weekend. It is a do-or-die game for the Italian boss for clinching the silverware at the end of the season.
The teams’ previous games
Everton surprisingly was beaten 1-2 at home last weekend by Burnley. They even already conceded twice in less than 30 minutes by Chris Wood and Dwight McNeill. Dominic Calvert-Lewin did respond not long after but they were unable to find the equaliser they need. It was their tenth defeats in Premier League this season.
Meanwhile, Manchester City secured another 2-0 win against Gladbach in the Champions League round of 16 in the midweek. Their two winning goals were scored by Kevin de Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan.
Carlo Ancellotti, is having a hard time picking up his starting XI for this fixture since some of his key men are ruled out including Jordan Pickford and his deputy, Robin Olsen between the sticks, Abdoulaye Droucoure and James Rodriguez. Consequently, the Italian boss must optimise the remaining players in the squad by deploying 4-3-1-2. Calvert Lewin and Richarlison will still be the main option upfront supported by Gylfi Sigurdsson, while in the midfield, Tom Davies, Andre Gomes and Allan will be operating in front of the back four.
His counterpart, Pep Guardiola should have no difficulty in deploying his favourite 4-3-3 formation eventhough the squad rotation is necessary. This time Sergio Aguero shall get a nod to be on the front, accompanied by Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva or Ferran Torres while Renato Steffen will be featuring between the sticks to deputise Ederson who is likely to be rested here. Luckily, none is missing out for this fixture.
Players to watch
The Icelandic Gylfi Sigurdsson is the vital figure in Everton’s attacking build up if James Rodriguez is absent. He has contributed four goals and four assists in EPL. Another key man to watch is the Brasilian forward Richarlison.
The Citizens’ attack will be led by Kevin de Bruyne who is the anchorman in the midfield and Bernardo Silva could be given a freer role to move between the attacking line to create space for Sergio Aguero or Ferran Torres to score. The young Spaniard has registered two goals and two assists in Premier League this season.
Everton vs Manchester City Prediction
Carlo Ancelotti’s men are likely to be in difficulty without the two main goalkeeper on the pitch. Joao Virginia will be pushed to put his best form here to save Everton from FA Cup exit. A definite win for Kevin de Bruyne and Co.
This is quite a tricky clash for the punters. Pep Guardiola’s side are priced to win at 10/29, whereas Everton’s win market is at 9/1. The odds for the draw result are at 5/1.