SEMI-FINAL, 1ST LEG
EVERTON v MAN CITY
(Tomorrow, 3.55am, Singtel TV Ch 109)
A tour de force is set to take English football by storm.
Manchester City can't wait.
They have splashed the cash to assemble what looks the English Premiership's most fearsome attack.
But for injuries, the quartet of Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling should be obliterating opponents week in, week out.
Aguero was the last piece of the jigsaw to get out of the treatment room.
If his late winner against Watford last weekend - his third start in City's last four games - was anything to go by, then he's close to getting back to his formidable best.
If City manager Manuel Pellegrini unleashes all of them in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final at Goodison Park tomorrow morning (Singapore time), Everton may be in for a harrowing time.
It won't be the first time they play together in the same starting line-up.
But it may be the beginning of a prolonged run together to give the four-pronged partnership a chance to gel and fulfil its mouth-watering potential.
A convincing performance in Merseyside will send chills up the spines of not just the other League Cup semi-finalists, but also those of their Premiership title rivals.
On paper, Pellegrini has put together a sublime £163-million ($343m) four-man assault party that can break down seemingly the most impenetrable of defences.
The individual brilliance, dynamism, speed and supreme technical ability, when in full flow, can be quite a sight to behold.
Sterling has settled in well at City following his high-profile move from Liverpool in the summer.
His direct running and pace on the left leave defenders with very little margin for error.
De Bruyne, on the opposite flank, has chalked up 10 goals and 10 assists in all competitions, making him City's top assist maker and joint-top scorer.
He provides the goal threat Jesus Navas couldn't offer.
Silva, the central player of the supporting trio behind Aguero, was sorely missed by his teammates during his two-month absence between October and December.
Since rejoining the action at the start of last month, he has been providing the direction and dictating the rhythm from his vantage point, with the same precision and drive that made him such a favourite with the City fans.
It was Aguero's boots which had been the hardest to fill though, with deputy striker Wilfried Bony struggling to impress while the Argentinian was injured.
Despite starting in only half of City's fixtures, Aguero has netted 10 times across all competitions so far.
In practice, Pellegrini's four-pronged attack has looked breathtaking, too.
In the four matches they have started together, they have won thrice (beat Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-1, Newcastle 6-1 and Watford 2-1) and drawn once (with Leicester City 0-0).
Their long-awaited reunion may just give City the cutting edge that Pellegrini has been desperately looking for.
BY THE NUMBERS
There have been only two meetings between Manchester City and Everton in the history of the League Cup, both of which finished 2-0.
City won the first clash in 1969 and Everton won the last encounter in 1988.
DID YOU KNOW? Man City's Kevin de Bruyne (far left) has chalked up 10 goals and 10 assists in all competitions, making him their top assist maker and joint-top scorer.
This article was first published on Jan 6, 2016.
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