The FA Cup is back in action with a round of decisive quarter-final fixtures as Manchester City lock horns with Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday.
The Citizens are still fighting on all four fronts this season and will be confident of moving into the last four of the FA Cup at the expense of the Merseysiders, who have stumbled in recent weeks and are evidently missing the creativity of James Rodriguez.
Everton are currently in seventh place in the Premier League standings and have suffered from bouts of inconsistency after a strong start to the season. The Toffees suffered a 2-1 defeat against Burnley last weekend and will need to bounce back in this game.
City, on the other hand, have been a resurgent force under manager Pep Guardiola and are on course to win the Premier League title this year. The Citizens eased past Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League earlier this week and will be confident ahead of this match.
The Toffees advanced to the last eight of the tournament courtesy of a thrilling 5-4 victory over Tottenham Hotspur last time out, whilst City eased past Swansea City to book a trip to Goodison Park.
Everton are in somewhat of a goalkeeping crisis with Jordan Pickford ruled out and Robin Olsen uncertain, so Joao Virginia could act as the last line of defence if Olsen is not given the green light to play.
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 Predicted XI (4-3-3): Robin Olsen; Ben Godfrey, Yerry Mina, Michael Keane, Lucas Digne; Allan, Andre Gomes, Tom Davies; Gylfi Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Manchester City Predicted XI (4-3-3): Zack Steffen; Ferland Mendy, Aymeric Laporte, Eric Garcia, Kyle Walker; Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva; Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero
City have a decent historical record against Everton and have won 74 matches out of a total of 199 matches played between the two teams. Everton have managed 68 victories against The Citizens and can potentially pull off an upset this weekend.
The previous meeting between the two teams took place in the Premier League earlier this year and ended in a comfortable 3-1 victory for the away side. Phil Foden gave Guardiola's side the lead in the first half, however Richarlison hit back five minutes later to leave the sides level at the break.
Fortunately, a superb second half showing from City proved too much for the Toffees who didn’t really trouble their opponents, as goals from Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva secured all three points.
City have won 13 of their last 14 FA Cup matches and their last 6 matches against Everton in all competitions.
The citizens have been drawing at half time and won at full time in their last 3 matches against Everton in all competitions.
City have scored at least 3 goals in their last 3 FA Cup matches and at least 2 goals in their last 6 matches against Everton in all competitions.
Everton have seen over 2.5 goals in 5 of their last 6 home matches against City in all competitions.
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in City's last 3 FA Cup games.
How to watch
Kick-off: 17.30 GMT, Sunday 19th March
This match will be televised live on BT Sport. BT Sport subscribers can stream this match live via BT Sport Player
City travel to Goodison Park as they bid to keep their quadruple hopes on track by advancing to the FA Cup semi-finals. However, standing in their way is an Everton side who are desperate to secure their first major trophy in 25 years and will prove extremely tough opposition on their own patch. The strength in depth of Guardiola’s side will ensure that they show no physical effect following their Champions League game in midweek, whilst Everton have enjoyed a full week to prepare for this game. The Toffees will no doubt provide extremely brave resistance and have the tools going forward to punish any City mistakes, but when you consider the overwhelming quality of the visiting side not to mention the fact that they have beaten Everton in their last six matches in all competitions, then it’s Man City who must be favoured here.
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
Ancelotti, who won the FA Cup as Chelsea boss in 2010, wants his side agile and decisive in possession.
“Every team has its own characteristics and Manchester City are fantastic with the ball, really good in possession and with a lot of ability one-on-one,” said Ancelotti.
“It is really difficult to compete there – but we can compete with a good attitude and spirit, with strong concentration defensively and trying to play efficiently when we have the ball."
“Also, using set-pieces, where we are strong."
“We have to compete but not with their characteristics… with our characteristics, we can compete – above all, in a knockout."
“This competition is a big motivation, we are not so far [from the final], we had a really exciting game against Tottenham [5-4 win in round five] and we are going to have an exciting and difficult game this weekend."
“The desire is really big and I hope this desire can help us have more motivation and more spirit.”
"Quarter-finals at Goodison Park against Everton, it’s always tough," Guardiola revealed.
"We were there a few weeks ago and we know how difficult it was to beat them."
"We won in the second half because of exceptional actions from Silva and Mahrez."
"We fought a lot, Calvert-Lewin is back and he is an important striker for them this season."
"But at the same time, it's the last game before international break, and hopefully we can finish well before we start in an important part of the season."