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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Premier League holders and European champions in successive matches await the Italian and his team
Dec 31, 2019
December 31, 2019
Carlo Ancelotti has called on Everton to prove they can be "competitive against the top teams" ahead of upcoming matches against Manchester City and rivals Liverpool.
Ancelotti has a perfect record since taking over as Everton manager, with two wins, but the Italian will face his sternest test yet when he takes his side to the Etihad Stadium to face Premier League champions Manchester City on Wednesday.
Four days later, Ancelotti will get his first experience of a Merseyside derby as Everton attempt to beat Liverpool at Anfield for the first time in more than 20 years when the two sides contest an FA Cup third round tie.
"Against City it'll be a fantastic test to see where we are. They are a really strong team but we have confidence to do our best," Ancelotti told a news conference on Tuesday.
"At the moment it is good to have this kind of test. Also against Liverpool. We have to try to be competitive against the top teams of England and Europe."
Everton beat Burnley 1-0 in Ancelotti's first game in charge and followed it up with a 2-1 win over Newcastle United to climb to 10th in the standings, building a five-match unbeaten run in the Premier League that began under caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson.
"Am I surprised? No, because we are working to try and win games," Ancelotti said. "I was surprised with the spirit of the team. I think the work Duncan did was really good.
"I found the players with character, with good attitude so I think this was the reason I didn't change a lot. The players showed confidence in games, and I hope this can continue in the next games which are really difficult.
"We don't have time to try things in training because this isn't the period. It can be dangerous to change a lot because players can be confused. So little changes in this period, and focus on games."
Ancelotti said any talks on strengthening his team in the January transfer window would take place after the Merseyside derby against Liverpool.
Midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin will miss the game against third-placed City with a calf injury but could return against Liverpool.
Updated: December 31, 2019 03:54 PM
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