Everton will attempt to reach their first cup semi-final since 2016 when they take on Fulham in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.
The Toffees return to Goodison Park on a high after a weekend win at Burnley made it four straight victories without conceding a goal, their best run since November 2002.
It was a thoroughly professional victory against an admittedly limited Burnley side, but was achieved despite the absence of a number of key players.
There seems to be a real spirit amongst the group now, with Sean Dyche building a side that has a real identity and clarity of purpose.
It has done little to quell the excitement about the prospect of reaching the last four, which would then put Wembley in sight.
After two years of attritional struggle it is great to be able to enjoy football again.
Win, lose or draw, Fulham have not been boring the last few weeks. Their last five matches have seen 29 goals, including back-to-back 5-0 home wins and a last-gasp 4-3 defeat.
They slipped to a 3-0 loss at Newcastle at the weekend but they played much of the game with 10 game after Raul Jimenez was sent off.
But a comfortable 11th place in the Premier League means they have enough breathing space to have a real go at the cups.
There will be plenty of familiar faces on show of course, with Antonee Robinson and Alex Iwobi making their Goodison returns, while Marco Silva will be back in the dugout as he looks to repeat his victory achieved on the opening day of the season.
Everton 0-1 Fulham, 12 August 2023
Everton paid a high price for missing a succession of chances as substitute Bobby de Cordova-Reid sealed a smash-and-grab win for the Cottagers on the opening day of the season.
Everton have Jarrad Branthwaite and Idrissa Gueye back from suspension but Abdoulaye Doucoure is a doubt after being forced off at half-time against Burnley.
Vitaly Mykolenko also missed the game at Turf Moor and will be assessed, as will Ashley Young and Seamus Coleman.
What they said
Everton boss Sean Dyche: “Of course, it’s a home game, as well. We want Goodison to be rocking and we want to keep the momentum.
“People say about all clubs: ‘Oh, why aren’t you trying to win [a cup]?’ You don’t try to lose a cup. It’s a strange thing. Trust me, we’re trying to win it. I’ve been trying to win one for years. Everyone is.
“This season, I’ve been trying to change the mentality from last season. And I think it’s right to go into these competitions and say: ‘Right lads, you’re playing.’ None of this, ‘Oh, am I getting rested?’ Not for me, that. I don’t enjoy all that – you’re playing. End of story.
“We’re trying to enhance that mentality. This game might be different because of the injuries, but I’ll wait and see what the news is.”
Fulham boss Marco Silva: “The games are always really tough to play at Goodison.
“The reaction from them since to point deduction just shows their resilience.
“The size of the club, you can see they all click together.
“The fans, the team, the staff; we know when these types of things happen to a club like Everton, they are always really strong.
“I’m not surprised because they have very good players and a really experienced manager with a proper way to play football, knowing what he demands from his players.”
This could potentially be the last ever cup quarter-final at Goodison Park. Let’s make it a special one.