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Thursday, February 29, 2024

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League Cup quarter-final: Everton vs Manchester United; ‘We are going to put out our strongest team’

Finally, the highly anticipated League Cup quarter-final is here for Everton and Carlo Ancelotti.

The Italian has won that many trophies it is easy to lose count and this is one he will want ever so badly.

It is easy to see how after a year at the helm how much Carlo Magnifico, which is what the Everton faithful call him, has settled in and is loving it.

A massive part of that is due to how much the supporters have welcomed him in and how much he seems to enjoy Crosby beach.

Now he wants to give something that will live long in the memory of every blue nose.

A first trophy since 1995 will do the trick hence why in his press conference he was not hiding how important this game is.

He said: “We give a lot of importance to this competition. Everton never won it. 

“We are two games from the final so it would be fantastic to play a final if possible. We are going to put out our strongest team.”

So, he isn’t playing it down, which the supporters will love as for too many years now the domestic cups haven’t been taken seriously but now with a serial winner there is no hiding, they are massive.

After three highly impressive wins on the bounce in the league Everton are back flying high in the table and another win against a tough opposition would be splendid.

But that’s exactly what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be thinking as Everton are themselves a tough opposition especially with their tight back line which is getting wins over the line.

One man yet again will not be available and that is James Rodriguez who has been missing in all of the impressive victories in the last couple of weeks.

But the Colombian is expected to be back sooner rather than later.

As well as this Jean-Phillips Gbamin is still not available but thankfully has not suffered a setback with Ancelotti and his staff taking time with the midfielder.

Manchester United themselves had a very impressive performance on the weekend with a 6-2 thrashing of rivals Leeds United and with Solskjaer still without any trophies two years into his reign he may want to take it seriously.

Ancelotti spoke about one of The Red Devils’ players saying: “I learned that if you leave space to Bruno Fernandes then you are dead.

“He is a fantastic player and the key point to United and we need to take care of this.”

Everyone will be hoping that Fernandes is rested but if not, it’ll be Abdoulaye Doucoure job to stop the Portuguese international and carry on his fantastic form.

If Ancelotti sticks to his word and goes with his strongest eleven, then Ben Godfrey is certain to start as the former Norwich City player has been playing in spectacular style at left back winning the hearts of all Evertonians.

There will be 2,000 fans at Goodison Park to watch this quarter-final and they will need their voices and probably their coats.

Hopefully though a performance from a team who want some silverware will keep them warm as every Everton fan wants to see their team win again and that’s exactly what Ancelotti seems to be achieving.

Written by Elliot Thompson

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