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FA Cup Quarter-Final: Everton vs Manchester City; Is a trophy on the cards?

It has been a long, long time since Everton last won any silverware but this weekend there is a chance to take one step closer to ending that rut.

The only thing is though to take that step Everton must beat runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City.

So, to say it will be tough Is an understatement.

However, Manchester City did lose a few games back against Manchester United so they can be beaten, the evidence is there for all to see.

But will Everton have what it takes?

A month ago, these two came up against each other in the league and Pep Guardiola’s side did come out as 3-1 winners but did have some trouble hence why they conceded.

So, Carlo Ancelotti can take some positives from that game and attempt to nullify the deadly attack that Guardiola has at his disposal.

However, the Italian must make sure his own side have an attacking threat on the day because otherwise it’ll be a walk in the park for City as they will pass any side to death and eventually cut them open if they just sit back.

That will be the difficult part especially without star man James Rodriguez who is injured, once again.

The Colombian has already missed seven games this season through several different injuries and it is becoming a worrying issue for Everton as he is vitally important and hard to replace as the creative spark from the midfield comes from him.

Alex Iwobi tried to replace him in the loss against Burnley and he looked out of his depth so he will have to improve his performance if Everton are to get through.

It is a knockout game, and anything can happen so not all hope is lost even though the side from Manchester are the favourites.

Everton’s injuries have certainly helped that as both goalkeepers Robin Olsen and Jordan Pickford will be unavailable for the FA Cup tie like James Rodriguez.

So those three join Abdoulaye Doucoure, Fabian Delph and Jean-Phillipe Gbamin on the treatment table.

This means that young goalkeeper Joao Virginia will start for Everton after getting his Premier League debut off the bench against Burnley last weekend.

It’ll be an invaluable experience for the 21-year-old who joined from Arsenal in 2018 but he will have to put in a perfect display to keep a clean sheet and get Everton through.

Ancelotti is not worried about Virginia as he said: “I’m not worried because Joao is young, without experience, but he a lot of quality.  

“I am not worried for the absence of the two goalkeepers.”

Of course, this game could go to penalties and he may have the chance to become a hero.

Many Everton fans would bite your hand off for the game to go as far as penalties as Manchester City are coming off the back of an irresistible Champions League performance against German side Borussia Monchengladbach beating them 2-0.

They managed that without any strikers and what is even more worrying for Everton is that Sergio Aguero is back.

But Carlo Ancleotti is still confident as he said in his pre-match press conference: “It’s a knockout, a really important game. We have a big desire to go forward in this competition. 

“I have confidence as usual, above all in this type of game. We are focused, we are concentrated.

“I hope, this season, there will be more important games playing in the semi final, or the final.”

Maybe Everton fans should be a bit more confident and have some hope that their side can do the unthinkable as their manager certainly has the belief.

With the magic of the cup, you never really know what might happen.

Written by Elliot Thompson

READ MORE: 80-Year-Old Billy is Everton’s virtual mascot for Quarter Final at Goodison

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