Carlo Ancelotti and Jurgen Kloppp have at different times, expressed deep affections for each other but the two managers are likely to rest their friendship when they lead their squads out in one of the hottest derbies in the history of world football.
Everton and Liverpool are sworn enemies and atmosphere around the clash at the Merseyside between the two sides is always tense and there is nothing the two friendly coaches can do to tame the intensity of the animosity between the fans of the two clubs.
Until last January, when he lost to his German friend, Ancelotti had maintained almost a blemish record against Klopp. While managing Napoli, the threetime European Cup-winning manager would take four points off the defending champions including a 2-0 win at the Stadio San Paolo. Both of these results only maintained his impressive personal record against Liverpool coach; across six matches, all of them in the Champions League, he’s claimed three wins to Klopp’s two. However, Klopp evened out when he led his Reds Army to a 1-0 win over Everton in the FA Cup clash last January.
Klopp isn’t the only high-profile current English Premier League coach Ancelotti has done extremely well against. Guardiola is also yet to inflict a defeat on the former Real Madrid boss. They’ve met twice before coming in the 2013/14 Champions League semi-finals, which included the now infamous 4-0 win in Munich.
If not for fate, Ancelotti would have been at the dug out for Liverpool after he revealed that he lost the job to manage at Anfield to his friend as he was also approached by the owners of the club when the post of a manager became vacant following the sacking of Bredan Rodgers. Ancelotti has admitted that the Reds’ hierarchy made the right choice with the appointment of his friend considering the great work the German has done for the Kop but the Italian will also want to show he could have been a perfect signing too.
Klopp’s men had been rampaging but were slowed down shortly before the break after they lost four matches in six games and they will be hoping to return to their very best and kick starting that against their bitter enemies is an auspicious occasion. Regardless of the outcome of the match, the two coaches would hug, shake hands and exchange pleasantries but that will be after leading their men to the battle of Merseyside.