Manchester City will have a huge test when they come up against in-form Everton striker Romelu Lukaku three times in quick succession, according to Gael Clichy.
The two teams meet in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final at Goodison Park on Wednesday, while City also host Everton in the Premier League next Wednesday before the second leg of their cup tie on January 27.
Lukaku is set to lead the Toffees’ attack after scoring 18 goals this season, including three in the League Cup, and Clichy admitted he has become a hugely impressive frontman.
“They have a striker in Romelu Lukaku who is in terrific form,” Clichy told City’s official website.
“I have played against him a few times in the last few years but it is all down to confidence. You can see whenever the team gets the ball, they are looking for him.
“Belief and confidence allows you to express yourself and that is what can make a good player into an amazing player.
“We face Everton three times in three weeks and we are up against a side who have amazing quality all over the pitch and we know we are going to have three difficult games.
“Like Stoke, Everton were always a hard-working team, concentrating on set-pieces and you knew you were in for a tough 90 minutes.
“Now, they have great quality throughout the team as well so it is not just a battle anymore, it is a battle plus quality. At Goodison Park, with their fans behind them – some of the best in the country I believe – we are in for a tough game on Merseyside and two hard games at the Etihad.”
Clichy has only played once in the Premier League this season due to a medial ligament injury but he is glad to be back in contention having been involved in recent squads.
The French defender added: “I had a really bad season at Arsenal a few years back with the same injury so while this has been bad, I have had worse.
“It is part of football, we are used to it and you have to look at the positives. For me, that was being able to work on my fitness a lot in the gym.
“Now I feel a lot stronger. I am just waiting for my chance to get a run of games under my belt because obviously the more you play, the sharper you get.”