Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti says Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City have “no clear identity”, with that considered to be a positive for the Premier League leaders as they chase a historic quadruple.
The Toffees will be looking to end that bid on Saturday when they host the Citizens in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
City have been sweeping aside all before them at home and abroad, with experienced Italian tactician Ancelotti fully aware that he faces the toughest challenge in trying to pick holes in a rival that is almost impossible to predict.
What has been said?
Former AC Milan, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain coach Ancelotti told reporters: “I would like to talk about Manchester City. Manchester City are a fantastic team but they have no clear identity.
“Sometimes they build up with three, sometimes with two, sometimes their right back goes to play as a holding midfielder.
“They have clear principles. That is the difference.
“Sometimes they don't play with a centre-forward, they play with a No 10 as a centre-forward, so the identity of Manchester City is not clear. If they had a clear identity you would be more able to manage their shape, but the fact is they change their shape.
“What doesn't change is their principles of keeping the ball, having possession and to show the quality they have. The principles never change.”
How does Ancelotti intend to replicate that at Everton?
The 61-year-old is a proven winner, having enjoyed league and Champions League successes at his former clubs.
He has Everton in the hunt for silverware this season and has worked hard on bolstering his ranks with notable additions such as Allan, James Rodriguez, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Ben Godfrey.
Ancelotti is, however, eager for more and has admitted that he will be dipping back into the transfer market this summer.
He added: “To improve we have to improve the knowledge of the players we have. We still have young players in the squad, and we have to improve the quality of the squad with new signings.”