The Liverpool boss has welcomed the new Everton manager back to the Premier League with open arms as they prepare for an FA Cup third round fixture
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has extended his Christmas wishes to new Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti, with the pair set to face off early in the new year.
Klopp’s side will host a Merseyside Derby on January 5, in one of a number of notable fixtures from this season’s FA Cup third-round draw.
With games against Leicester, Wolves and Sheffield United to come in the Premier League, Klopp says he isn’t thinking about the Everton match just yet – but he is happy to see Ancelotti back in the English game.
“I couldn’t be further away from the FA Cup at the moment, there are three very important games in between so I cannot really think about that,” he told reporters.
“I get it that Carlo yesterday had to speak already about it and about his record [against Liverpool] and stuff like this, all good.
“I like him a lot… I liked him a lot!
“It’s difficult in this business to have friends. With Dave Wagner I was friends before we became managers, all the others we meet from time to time, but with him the relationship was always kind of special.
“So now we meet a couple of times during the year, more often than we are probably used to, but that’s all.
“I would love to say I wish him luck! No, it’s Christmas, come on, I wish him luck.”
Perhaps amusingly to Liverpool fans, in Ancelotti, Everton have appointed the manager who was in charge of AC Milan for the Istanbul Champions League final in 2005.
He got his revenge in the final two years later, but his presence adds another layer of intrigue to what is always a full-blooded encounter.
Everton haven’t won any of the last 20 Merseyside derbies in all competitions, with the 5-2 defeat in November proving the final nail in the coffin of Marco Silva’s Toffees career.
Since then, Liverpool have added to their Champions League trophy last season with a Club World Cup win in Qatar.
“We are here to play Leicester on Thursday, that’s all,” Klopp maintained.
“It has nothing to do with the finals or the other games, it’s just about this game, being in the game, dig in, fight for each inch on the pitch.
“Be ruthless, be ready. We want to run, we don’t want to come in a situation where we have to run.
“All these kind of little differences, that’s what we are and that’s what we have to show.”