City last won the trophy in 2014 during Manuel Pellegrini’s first season at the club, before going on to win the Premier League title a few months later. A repeat would be very welcome for the City owners disappointed by last season’s trophyless campaign.
But Everton will provide a stern test. Their recent league form has been patchy, but they have quality all over the pitch.
Roberto Martinez is trying to win the competition for the first time in the club's history, but they have won three of their last 13 league games, and frustrations are clear.
Their recent head-to-head record is firmly in City's favour. They've won four of the last five meetings between the two sides.
Date: Wednesday, January 6
Kick-off: 8:00 p.m. GMT/3:00 p.m. ET
TV Listings: Sky Sports 1/HD (UK) & beIN SPORTS CONNECT U.S.A., fuboTV, beIN Sports USA (US)
Live Stream: Sky Go (UK)
MCFC) January 5, 2016
Everton 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Everton 3-4 Stoke City
Newcastle 0-1 Everton
Everton 2-3 Leicester City
Norwich City 1-1 Everton
Looking forward to the game tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/fKmSyghhLA— Ross Barkley (@RBarkley20) January 5, 2016
Watford 1-2 Manchester City
Leicester 0-0 Manchester City
Manchester City 4-1 Sunderland
Arsenal 2-1 City
Manchester City 2-1 Swansea
Martinez is likely to be without Phil Jagielka (knee) and midfielder Steven Pienaar (hamstring). Joel Robles will replace Tim Howard in goal.
Predicted XI (4-3-3): Robles; Coleman, Funes Mori, Stones, Baines; Barry, Cleverley; Deulofeu, Barkley, Kone; Lukaku.
Everton (@Everton) January 5, 2016
Vincent Kompany and Samir Nasri remain out, and Wilfried Bony has joined them on the sidelines with a minor calf problem.
Aguero is fit enough to start, despite playing on Saturday. “I think Sergio is able to three games in a week with no problem at this moment,” Pellegrini said. “His last injury was just a pain in his heel, it was not a muscle injury.”
Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Caballero; Sagna, Otamendi, Mangala, Kolarov; Fernandinho, Delph; Navas, Iheanacho, Silva; Aguero.
Players To Watch
Everton: John Stones
It’s rare that a talent as unique and exciting as John Stones emerges. In fact, the last time an English centre-half burst onto the scene and showed quite the same level of promise was when Rio Ferdinand came through the West Ham United academy in the 1990s.
Stones is the definition of a ball-playing centre-back. Comfortable in possession and determined to start attacks with his quality on the ball, the 21-year-old is unlike most young English defenders who are taught a "safety-first" style of defending.
He has been at fault for plenty of goals in his short career thus far, but what young defender doesn't produce errors?
Stones is the most exciting defender in the Premier League by some considerable distance.
Manchester City: Fernandinho
The Blues’ best player this season has undoubtedly been Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho.
He’s been consistently brilliant, both domestically and in Europe, and has become the side’s most influential player in recent months.
There’s little he can’t do. He stops and attacks, starts them and—every now and then—finishes them.
He’s a class act, and the £30 million City spent to bring him to the club has proved to be a bargain.
Key Battle: Romelu Lukaku vs. Eliaquim Mangala
For many, this looks a foregone conclusion. Romelu Lukaku is the top scorer in the Premier League with 15 goals already this season. He’s bang in form. Seven goals and three assists in his last six league matches tells its own story.
On the other hand, Eliaquim Mangala is having yet another turbulent period of form, defined by his nervousness and inability to read the game and spot danger early.
Yet one of Mangala’s best games for City came against Lukaku earlier in the season during City’s 2-0 win at Goodison in the league.
The physical battle appeared to suit the Frenchman. He’ll be hoping for the same this time.
Everton (@Everton) January 5, 2016
Rob Pollard is Bleacher Report's lead Manchester City correspondent and will be following the club from a Manchester base throughout the 2015/16 season. All quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Follow him on Twitter @RobPollard_.
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