Jurgen Klopp feels Carlo Ancelotti’s arrival at Everton makes them “more dangerous” opponents for Liverpool despite the latter’s strong record in the Merseyside derby.
Sunday’s game at Anfield is the tie of the third round, with Ancelotti – who missed out on the Liverpool job to Klopp in 2015 – set for his first experience of the famous fixture.
Klopp and Ancelotti have faced off a number of times during their managerial careers, including in the Champions League group stage in each of the past two seasons.
Liverpool only won one of their four meetings with Ancelotti’s Napoli in the competition, losing twice, while Real Madrid knocked out Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund under the Italian’s leadership en route to Champions League glory in 2013-14.
Ancelotti has led Everton to two wins from three Premier League games since replacing Marco Silva, though Duncan Ferguson helped to stabilise the club during his time in caretaker charge.
And Klopp is looking forward to taking on three-time Champions League winner Ancelotti again.
“Carlo being back in the English game is so cool for the competitions and even cooler for Everton,” Klopp wrote in his column for Liverpool’s official matchday programme ahead of Sunday’s clash.
“I’m not sure if I’m doing either of us any favours by saying this, but in football terms, I really do consider him a friend. Such an amazing person and just so generous in spirit and personality.
| And so to Anfield. Home of the English champions… of 1890/91.
— Everton (@Everton) January 5, 2020
“He’s won all there is to win, as a player and coach, and yet remains chilled and humble. He is a benchmark for those of us working in the game today on how to conduct yourself.
“His impact at Everton is already being felt – we can see this from our analysis. He has been clever in picking up on the positivity of approach injected by Duncan Ferguson.
“Everton are always a difficult opponent for us because of the positive emotion they bring into this derby game. Under Carlo, with his experience, I think they have become even more dangerous.
“But to be honest, I love this. I think it adds to the occasion. My players have just as much desire and belief going into this game. We want to win it with all we have.
“We see the game as [an] opportunity. We know what our supporters expect. No Liverpool side can ever have less desire than the opponent – this is not allowed.”
Ancelotti faces a difficult task with Everton last enjoying a victory over Liverpool at Anfield in 1999.
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