City hoping to reach Wembley again

Manchester City back-up goalie Willy Caballero will be hoping for a clean sheet against Everton to help his team reach the League Cup final.
Manchester City back-up goalie Willy Caballero will be hoping for a clean sheet against Everton to help his team reach the League Cup final.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Thoughts of the 2013-14 run-in will be inspiring Manchester City's players as they attempt to overturn a 1-2 deficit in today's League Cup semi-final second leg against Everton.

Then, as now, City are chasing glory on four fronts. While they fell short in the Champions League and FA Cup two years ago, League Cup glory was to prove a precursor to winning the Premier League title.

Should Everton pull off a repeat of the 0-0 league draw they recorded at the Etihad Stadium two weeks ago, they will progress to a first League Cup final since 1984.

But City defender Nicolas Otamendi is confident that he and his team-mates now have the measure of Roberto Martinez's men.

"The first leg, away at Everton, wasn't good for us and we didn't play anywhere near as well as we can, but we must think there are still 90 minutes to go and we can do it," he told City's official website.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini told a press conference yesterday that back-up goalkeeper Willy Caballero will start as he looks to rotate his players. "I will try to refresh the team as it's the only way to continue in four competitions," said the Chilean.

Defenders Aleksandar Kolarov (calf), Vincent Kompany and Eliaquim Mangala (hamstring), midfielder Samir Nasri (hamstring) and striker Wilfried Bony (calf) remain out.

For Everton, captain Phil Jagielka will return to their squad today after being rested at the weekend, but midfielders Kevin Mirallas and Muhamed Besic are injured.

Everton are 12th in the Premier League and Toffees manager Martinez hopes getting to the final at Wembley will help alleviate fans' disappointment with their league position.

"City have one of the best home records and we know it is a massive challenge, but we want to be successful and we will give everything we've got to try and make the final," the Spaniard told reporters yesterday.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

MAN CITY V EVERTON

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 27, 2016, with the headline 'City hoping to reach Wembley again'. Print Edition | Subscribe