Carlo Ancelotti says Everton must play 'perfect game' to beat Liverpool

Watch Everton vs Liverpool on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Pick; kick-off 7pm

Carlo Ancelotti was appointed Everton manager in December
Image: Carlo Ancelotti was appointed Everton manager in December

Carlo Ancelotti admits his Everton side will need to deliver a performance full of "character, sacrifice and personality" when they meet Premier League leaders Liverpool on Sunday.

Everton have lost both this season's Merseyside derbies, including a 1-0 FA Cup defeat under Ancelotti in January, with Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool just two victories away from winning their first league title in 30 years.

Ancelotti, who replaced Marco Silva in December, is focused on ensuring his side end the season in a positive manner as they target Europa League qualification, with six points separating them from seventh-placed Wolves.

Everton's Premier League record under Ancelotti

Since the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti in December, their tally of 18 points has only been bettered by Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United during the same period.

"I know how the Everton supporters look for this game, what they want to see from my team. We know really well what we have to do," Ancelotti said.

"We have to play a perfect game, showing character, sacrifice and personality.

"For sure to beat Liverpool you have to do more than play at 100 per cent.

Everton and Liverpool will meet at Goodison Park in the Merseyside derby
Image: Liverpool have lost just one game in the Premier League this season

"We have to consider this game as a great opportunity. It will be difficult of course because Liverpool are one of the best teams in the world, but we have to try."

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Liverpool's hopes of potentially clinching the title at their rivals' ground were dashed by Manchester City's midweek win over Arsenal, but Ancelotti insists that hasn't changed his mindset.

"Our goal is not the goal of Liverpool. Our goal is to do our best to try to reach a good position in the table, if it is possible to try and qualify for the Europa League next season," he said.

"We are not so focused on what Liverpool is going to do in the future. Of course they are going to win the title. They are not going to win the title at our home but this does not matter.

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"For us it is important to collect points to improve our [position in the] table."

The experienced Italian manager concedes his team will be at disadvantage to not call upon the Goodison Park faithful this weekend and is hopeful supporters will soon be able to return inside stadiums.

"Everyone in football says your supporters are the 12th man, and we know how our fans support us in home game. But we have to respect the procedure," he said.

"I hope that soon we can have supporters and we have to manage this situation as best we can."

Everton will be without injured pair Yerry Mina and Fabian Delph for Liverpool's visit, while he also expects Jean-Philippe Gbamin to be out for up to four or five months with an Achilles tendon injury sustained in training last month.

Sky Sports are broadcasting 64 live Premier League games for the 2019/20 season resumption. In addition to the 39 matches already scheduled to be broadcast exclusively live on Sky Sports before the coronavirus interruption, 25 more matches are being broadcast on both Sky Sports Premier League and Sky's free-to-air Pick channel, allowing the whole nation to be part of the return of live sport.

To celebrate the return of the Premier League, Sky Sports have also launched a host of innovative new features and updates to give fans an even more immersive experience and share the moments live with family and friends on virtual platforms.

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