Manchester City take on Everton in the second semi-final of the Capital One Cup at the Goodison Park on 6 January. The Citizens are active on four trophy fronts and would like to put in a comprehensive performance against the Merseyside club to boost their confidence in the league, where they are currently lagging in third spot, three points behind leaders Arsenal.
Where to watch live
Kick-off is set for 7.45pm GMT. Live coverage of the game will be on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 1 HD.
Everton come into the game on the back of a morale boosting 1-1 draw with Tottenham at the Goodison, where after being put under massive pressure in the opening period, they made a game of the fixture in the second half. Manager Roberto Martinez was disappointed after their performance beyond the 45 minutes to not take full points from the fixture, which goes a long way in exemplifying their influence despite Tottenham's flurry in the first period.
The former Wigan manager needs similar enthusiasm and industry against City, who are slowly but surely coming back to their best from an attacking standpoint. A lot of expectations will be on Romelu Lukaku, who is currently joint on goals with Jamie Vardy at the top of the individual charts. The League Cup has eluded Everton over the years, with their two appearances in the finals in 1977 and 1983 both ending in defeats.
Meanwhile, City have won the tournament under Manuel Pellegrini in 2014, when they overturned a one-goal deficit to defeat Sunderland 3-1 in the finals. The Chilean has been through a difficult period off late, with the team securing their first win away from home in the league against Watford since September. Goals from Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero made the day for the Citizens, who were trailing from an Alexander Kolarov own goal.
What Managers Say
Roberto Martinez: "I don't think winning a cup will keep the young players, I think qualifying for the Champions League could help to keep young players. The reality is that we have taken a very different approach to what we are as a team than we took at this club three years ago. Three years ago it was a very experienced team who knew how to win games but had some sort of ceiling. Now we have gone very young with immense potential to go beyond that ceiling, and there has been investment in that potential so we will get the rewards from it."
Manuel Pellegrini: "He's not only scoring important goals. He's scored important goals in the last few games, but I think that Yaya gives very good play to our team. He's the midfielder from where we have the most amount of passes to make the last decisive pass, so I think he's a very important player. A lot of media criticise his body language and the way he runs, but if you see all the statistics of Yaya after every game, he's the one player that runs more."
Betting Odds (888Sport)
- Everton Win: 3.7
- Draw: 3.8
- Manchester City Win: 2.02
Possible XI: Robles; Coleman, Stones, Funes Mori, Baines; Cleverley, Barry; Deulofeu, Barkley, Kone; Lukaku
Possible XI: Hart; Sagna, Otamendi, Mangala, Kolarov; Toure, Fernandinho, De Bruyne, Silva, Sterling; Aguero