Carlo Ancelotti admits Everton will have to be ‘perfect’ in order to beat Liverpool as he prepares for his first Merseyside derby in the FA Cup third round this weekend.
The new Everton manager has made a strong start to life at Goodison Park since being named as Marco Silva’s successor, earning back-to-back wins over Burnley and Newcastle in the Premier League before suffering defeat at champions Manchester City last time out.
Ancelotti’s arrival has helped lift the atmosphere around the club following a troubled start to the season, and the three-times Champions League winning manager will now face local rivals, Liverpool, for the first time since taking charge of the Toffees.
Everton make the short journey to Anfield to face Jurgen Klopp’s league leaders in the FA Cup third round on Sunday, and Ancelotti admits his side must ‘play without fear’ if they are to progress in a competition he won whilst in charge of Chelsea back in 2010.
“The FA Cup is completely different to the Italian Cup, the fact it is the oldest competition in the world gives it a really special atmosphere,” Ancelotti said at his pre-match press conference.
“There are a lot of surprises in this competition and for us it’s a really exciting game, a really exciting moment.
“The last trophy Everton won was the FA Cup and we need to be focused and concentrated, and play without fear.”
Everton were comfortably beaten on their visit to Anfield in the Premier League this season, and Ancelotti is aware of the task facing his side when they meet a Liverpool side who are 13 points clear at the summit and were recently crowned as Club World Cup winners.
Asked on the secret to beating their Merseyside rivals, Ancelotti said: “You score more goals.
“It is a fantastic challenge for us and I want to be focused on them and not lose time talking about the transfer market because in this moment I want to put all of my energy into explaining to the players what type of game I want them to play.
“Of course, Liverpool are the favourites but in a derby you never know.
“We need to have confidence to play at our best, to play our football and move on in the competition. Everyone knows how important this competition is and last time I played this competition I won it, so that could be good luck for us.
“Everything has to be perfect. Work rate, intensity, sacrifice, if you want to beat them the game has to be complete.”
See also – Five of the best Merseyside Derbies