Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti has urged his players to seize a “fantastic opportunity” when they face neighbours Liverpool in the FA Cup on Sunday.
Few will fancy the Toffees to win at Anfield given Liverpool’s complete dominance so far this season but Ancelotti – the only manager to get the better of Jurgen Klopp this campaign – sees no reason for fear.
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“It is a fantastic challenge but also a fantastic opportunity,” the Italian said.
“We are going to play against the best team in this moment, they are world champions so congratulations to them, but this is a fantastic challenge for us.”
Ancelotti guided Napoli to a 2-0 Champions League victory over Liverpool in September, taking a point from a 1-1 draw at Anfield in November.
Asked the secret to beating Klopp, the 60-year-old offered a shrug and a smile. “Score more goals,” he said.
“Everyone knows how Liverpool play,” he added. “They are a fantastic team, fantastic on the counter-attack, fantastic in transition and in recovery of the ball and quick attacking. You have to do the perfect game to beat them.
“You cannot defend for 90 minutes and we do not want to defend for 90 minutes. We want to have the possibility to play our football.”
Ancelotti, an FA Cup winner with Chelsea in 2010, said it was unlike any other cup competition in football.
“The FA Cup here is completely different to others, it is different to Italy. The fact that it is the oldest competition in the world gives it a really special atmosphere.
“There are a lot of surprises in this competition so for us it’s a really exciting moment, so we have confidence to do our best.”