Everton face Manchester City this evening at Goodison Park in the quarter-final of the FA Cup. It’s a tough assignment for the hosts given they’re on a run of poor home form while City are positively flying, in ominous form in all four competitions in which they’re still competing. Pep Guardiola’s men lead the Premier League and are favourites to win the Champions League.
Carlo Ancelotti, former Real Madrid coach but now in charge of Everton, has been speaking pre-game about the challenge posed by City and alluded to a Messi Strategy. “When I was at Real Madrid and we played many times against [Lionel] Messi, who was one of the best rivals, I never told the players about Messi,” the Italian said in comments carried by Diario AS.
“They’d just be scared. So, anyway, I try not to talk too much about City. The world knows the players and the individual and team quality [they have]. You have to focus on what you have to do. I’m satisfied because this week we’ve worked well. I don’t know if we’re going to be able to show the same quality as we have in training, but I hope so.”
61, Ancelotti has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in football’s elite. He went into management after a decorated playing career spent exclusively in Italy, and has coached Reggiana, Parma, Juventus, Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Napoli and now Everton. He’s one of a select cabal of coaches who’ve won the Champions League three times, alongside his protege Zinedine Zidane.