Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti gives honest opinion of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Carlo Ancelotti has opened up on his relationship with Jurgen Klopp and believes Saturday’s Merseyside derby will be a great test for his side.

Liverpool make the visit to Goodison Park this weekend to face the Premier League leaders, with Everton searching for their first win over their nearest rivals for 10 years.

However, while the atmosphere on the pitch might be as feisty as ever, there will be a lot of respect shared between the two bosses on the touchline.

Ancelotti praised his opposite number during his pre-match press conference, saying he considered it an honour to count Klopp as a friend.

The Everton boss said: “Yeah we are good friends, we are good friends.

“I feel good when I am with him, we don’t have a lot of time of course to talk because we are really busy.

“But all the time that we meet, we spend a good time together. He’s a fantastic man, he brings energy to me when I’m with him.

“I have a lot of respect for him. It’s an honour for me to be considered his friend!”

Everton will be looking to keep up their perfect start to 2020/21 this weekend, having won all seven of their previous games in all competitions so far.

But Ancelotti is expecting this match to be the most tough test his side have faced this term.

“The message for us is that we are going to have an exciting game,” he added.

“It’s a derby and everyone knows how our supporters are supporting us for this game.

“After that I think it will be good for us to have this kind of test. Against one of the best teams in England for sure, they were the best last season. They are one of the best teams in the world.

“It’s a fantastic challenge, a good test for us. Be confident and be happy to play in this game.

“To be a challenger for Liverpool could be really good for us. But of course Liverpool are doing so well, I think we are not so far but we are still far from them.

“We can have a good test tomorrow against them to see how far we are.”

Liverpool, on the other hand, will be looking to quickly bounce back from a bruising 7-2 defeat away to Aston Villa before the international break.

That match was the latest in a string of Premier League games already this term which have produced high-scoring outcomes.

But Ancelotti is expecting that to change in the future, and he is not putting any focus on the previous defeat for the Reds at Villa Park.

“In general there were a lot of goals in the past games, all the teams want to attack in this moment. The fact there is no crowd, maybe you are less worried about defending,” he added.

“But I think that is going to change because teams in the future are more focused defensively.

“We don’t have to think what happened in their last game [vs Aston Villa]. Liverpool as usual are a fantastic team that plays with a lot of intensity and quality.

“This will be the opponent we are going to play tomorrow. We have to pay attention, they have a lot of quality but we have to be confident in the game to be able to show our quality.”

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