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Ancelotti reveals clean bill of health for Merseyside derby

The Everton boss says he has no fresh injury worries ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Liverpool

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Saturday will be Ancelotti’s third Merseyside derby
Photo by JON SUPER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti has said only Everton’s long-term absentees will definitely miss tomorrow’s clash with Liverpool at Goodison Park.

Lucas Digne, Yerry Mina and Richarlison all suffered minor knocks while on international duty for France, Colombia and Brazil respectively, but Ancelotti revealed all of them are fit to play in tomorrow’s derby.

Only those already sidelined by injury - Cenk Tosun, Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Mason Holgate and Jarrad Branthwaite - will miss out.

Speaking at Friday’s pre-match press conference, Ancelotti said:

“All the players are available. It’s true that they travelled, they played, but they came back in a good condition and they are all available for tomorrow.”

Everton go into the derby top of the league with a 100 per cent record so far this season, while Liverpool’s perfect start was ended abruptly in their 7-2 thrashing at Aston Villa last time out.

But Ancelotti remains mindful of the champions’ quality, and thinks it will be a great measure of Everton’s recent progress, while anticipating a much different game to June’s goalless draw:

“I think it will be good for us to have this kind of test. 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.

“In June it was the game after lockdown; both teams were not ready. It will be a different game, with different intensity and quality, I’m sure.

“In general there were a lot of goals in the past games. The fact there is no crowd, maybe you are less worried about defending, you want to attack. But I think that’s going to change, teams in the future are more focused defensively.”

Ancelotti also had more positive words for Dominic Calvert-Lewin who, after netting nine goals in six Everton games this term, then scored on his England debut in last week’s 3-0 friendly home win over Wales:

“I think he [Dominic Calvert-Lewin] is in a good moment; he showed a good quality with the national team and I am happy for this.

“He’s back with the same condition and the same attitude.”