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We’ve reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and with Man City still in the running for the quadruple, you imagine Pep Guardiola is going to put out a strong side for this one.
They moved into the quarter-finals of the Champions League for a fourth consecutive season in midweek, after overcoming B. M’gladbach 2-0 in both legs, and with the likes of Phil Foden, Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin de Bruyne and Joao Cancelo running the show.
Everton haven’t had quite the same fortunes, as Burnley just accomplished the league double over them with that 2-1 scoreline. That puts them on back-to-back defeats now in the league with the other coming against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, while their home form leaves a lot to be desired.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men have gone W1-D2-L4 over their last seven at Goodison Park in all competitions dating back to late January, and against perhaps the best team in Europe at the minute in Man City, that has to be a worry.
Other than a minor blip against their local rivals, the Citizens have had it all their way dating back to December, winning 24 of their last 25 outings in all competitions.
That includes 11 victories against big sides Arsenal (twice), Chelsea, Man Utd, Liverpool, Spurs, Gladbach (twice), West Ham, Wolves and Everton themselves, as nine of those came by margins of two or more goals, including a 3-1 victory at this very stadium.
Man City -1 Handicap
The Toffees’ path to get here has seen them draw with both Spurs and Rotherham here over 90 minutes, and with a best of just one semi-final in the last eight seasons, they look up against it.
Add the fact that Abdoulaye Doucoure, James Rodriquez and Jordan Pickford will be unavailable for selection, it could be a tough evening for the hosts.
Of course, they have gone a respectable W5-D4-L5 against the current top eight in the league in all tournaments this term, but considering four of those victories came against Spurs who are at the bottom of that bracket, Frank Lampard’s Chelsea, West Ham at the start of the season in the League Cup and at their local rivals Liverpool on that woeful six game losing run at Anfield, it doesn’t fill us with too much confidence. In fact, four of their five defeats came by two clear goals as the better form teams from that section of the table had the beating of them.
Meanwhile, City, don’t have any injuries of note and with the league all but won, their concentration will be on this fixture.
Guardiola has reached at least the FA Cup semis in three of his four previous seasons at the club, winning it in 2018/19.
Indeed, seven of his 10 victories over that time against Premier League opposition have come by at least two clear goals, and that looks the bet of the game for us.