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Preview: Everton vs. Manchester City - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's FA Cup clash between Everton and Manchester City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Manchester City's pursuit of an unprecedented quadruple continues on Saturday 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.


Match preview

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti pictured on March 1, 2021© Reuters

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.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola pictured on March 7, 2021© Reuters

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.

Only in two of those games have City failed to chalk up more than one goal, and Guardiola has witnessed his side come up trumps in their last six encounters with Everton, who also lost to Man City at this stage of the FA Cup in the 1980-81 campaign.

Everton FA Cup form:
  • W
  • W
  • W

Everton form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

Manchester City FA Cup form:
  • W
  • W
  • W

Manchester City form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W


Team News

Jordan Pickford in action for England on September 5, 2020© Reuters

Everton are in somewhat of a goalkeeping crisis with Jordan Pickford and Robin Olsen both still injured, so Joao Virginia will act as the last line of defence this weekend.

Abdoulaye Doucoure, James Rodriguez, Fabian Delph and Jean-Philippe Gbamin remain out, so Ancelotti's hand is largely forced in midfield, although Gylfi Sigurdsson could replace Alex Iwobi in the number 10 role.

Yerry Mina and Seamus Coleman will both be holding out for recalls to the defence, while Joshua King is cup-tied but was never expected to earn a start over Richarlison or Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

With Nathan Ake now back in the squad and fully fit, Guardiola has no injury concerns at all for the quarter-final, so the Spaniard's infamous rotation is expected to strike again this week.

Zack Steffen could once again be handed an opportunity to impress in goal despite the calibre of their opponents, while Ake, Aymeric Laporte and Zinchenko - despite the latter's minor tiff with Guardiola - are all pushing for starts in defence as well.

Both Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus only made the bench in the Champions League, so the former should be ready to start another game this weekend, while Raheem Sterling has dismissed rumours of a row with Guardiola and is also in contention to feature.

Everton possible starting lineup:
Virginia; Godfrey, Mina, Keane, Digne; Allan, Davies, Gomes; Sigurdsson; Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Steffen; Cancelo, Dias, Laporte, Zinchenko; Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne; Torres, Aguero, Sterling


SM words green background

We say: Everton 0-2 Manchester City

With all of Guardiola's contingent fit and raring to go for the quarter-final, City's fearsome squad depth will certainly come to the fore this weekend. Everton's historic win over Tottenham will live long in the memories of Toffees fans, but this is likely to be where their FA Cup dream ends, as City should keep their quadruple hopes alive with a straightforward triumph on their way to the last four.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Away Win:data


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How you voted: Everton vs Man City

Everton
17.5%
Draw
6.3%
Manchester City
76.2%
189
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Jordan Pickford in action for England on September 5, 2020
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