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“I don’t talk to the players about Messi, because they would be afraid” – Carlo Ancelotti



The Toffees will look to become only the second side to inflict defeat upon Pep Guardiola’s side in 2021 when they face off this weekend.

Carlo Ancelotti says that his former pre-match preparations to face Lionel Messi at Barcelona have informed his tactical approach with Everton for Saturday’s FA Cup clash with a seemingly ‘unbeatable’ Manchester City.

The Toffees will look to become only the second side to inflict defeat upon Pep Guardiola’s men in 2021 when they face off in a quarter-final clash this weekend at Goodison Park, with the visitors still chasing an unprecedented quadruple.

The two sides only met last month, when Everton were downed 3-1 in the Premier League, and the hosts’ manager has vowed to try a different tact – but will still take lessons from his time in charge of Real Madrid into battle too.

The Italian revealed ahead of the last-eight encounter that he avoided mentioning Barcelona playmaker Messi whenever his team was set to face the Blaugrana, so as not to spook his players – and that he has attempted to do the same with City, refusing to give them airtime in his briefings.

“When we played a lot of time when I was in Madrid against Messi – who was one of the best opponents – I didn’t talk about Messi to the players,” Ancelotti was quoted as saying by the Liverpool Echo.

“They are going to be scared. I try not to talk too much about Manchester City. Everyone knows the players and the quality of the individuals and the quality of the team.”

The former Chelsea boss added that he hoped his side would adapt to a different approach for their latest encounter with Guardiola’s high-flying side, stressing that they need to keep themselves in order throughout.

“It has to be different than in the league game. We have prepared a different strategy and I hope this strategy is going to work.

“We have to be focused on what we want to do on the pitch and forget about the quality of Manchester City. Everyone knows.

“We have to be focused on ourselves and what we want to do, use a good attitude and a good spirit. Man City feels unbeatable in this moment but in the history of football no team is unbeatable.”

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