Everton take on Manchester City in an FA Cup quarterfinal at Goodison Park, the last chance for the Toffees to win a trophy this season while their visitors are chasing an unprecedented quadruple having already reached the final of the Carabao Cup, the Premier League title virtually sewed up and a date with Borussia Dortmund in the quarterfinals of the Champions League
Everton make four changes to the XI named for the home defeat to Burnley last weekend. Joao Virginia replaces the injured Jordan Pickford in goal, while Michael Keane, Tom Davies and Alex Iwobi drop to the bench, replaced by Seamus Coleman, Yerry Mina and Gylfi Sigurdsson.
City had beaten Crystal Palace (4-0) and Norwich City (6-0) at Maine Road, in earlier rounds and secured their passage to the quarter final with a 1-0 win at Peterborough. Everton had a slightly tougher route to face the blues, beating Arsenal (2-1) and Liverpool (1-0) at Goodison Park, before drawing 0-0 with Southampton at The Dell in the fifth round. The Toffess overcame the Saints 1-0 in the replay.
Everton had already lost 2-0 at home to City on Boxing Day 1980, but were hoping for better luck in their FA Cup run against the blues. And they nearly got it.
Peter Eastoe gave the home side the lead 3 minutes before the half time interval. Future blue Adrian Heath flicked on a cross from the right that found Eastoe completely unmarked, and the striker fired home past Joe Corrigan in the City goal.
Scoring on the stroke of half-time is usually an excellent time to score and that was the case when Pau Power equalised just three minutes after Eastoe’s goal. Bobby McDonald’s cross from the left was headed down by Kevin Reeves into the path of Gerry Gow, who lobbed the ball over the keeper to make it 1-1.
Contrast and compare. Everton have lost their last two, are struggling for goals, and have a miserable home record this season. City are hot favourites this evening, then, but the cup’s the cup’s the cup, and they’ve been surprised in knockout competition before. And their opponents tonight will be desperate to win, a first trophy since they won this competition in 1995 within realistic reach.
Manchester City are back on Merseyside for an FA Cup quarter final at Everton (kick-off 5.30pm).
City are looking to keep their quadruple hopes alive going into next week’s international break, with Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton looking to inflict the Blues’ first cup defeat of the season.
Pep Guardiola is likely to have another fully fit squad available after taking his strongest 23-man squad to Budapest for the midweek Champions League win over Borussia Monchengladbach. With many of his squad jetting off for international duty over the next fortnight, Guardiola wants his side to finish the current run of fixtures strongly before domestic football takes a back seat.