Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has paid tribute to Everton’s defensive qualities ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash between the sides at Goodison Park.
The Italian is yet to register a victory over the Blues in his two years at the Stamford Bridge helm and saw his team knocked out of the FA Cup on penalties by the Toffees earlier this season.
The teams have played out three 1-1 draws this term – one in the league plus the replayed FA Cup fourth round tie – and Ancelotti has warned his players they face a quality outfit in their final game of the 2010/11 campaign.
“They are a strong team,” said the Chelsea manager. “They have fantastic organisation defensively, they played us and created a lot of problems.
“They played us in the FA Cup and maybe we were unlucky but they are strong, they are always focused and it's difficult to create situations to score.”
Ancelotti confirmed Jose Bosingwa and Yossi Benayoun will miss the game, while Ramires (hamstring) is also likely to miss out.
“In terms of the team, we have Bosingwa out and Benayoun had a problem yesterday, so he will not be able to play,” added Ancelotti, who admitted he will have to refocus his players’ minds ahead of the trip to the North West.
“Right now we are in second place, we are very close but it doesn't matter about the result on Sunday.
“We just want to play our best but it will not be easy because in the last week of training, when there are not a lot of important aims to meet, it's not easy to maintain the concentration. But we want to try and do our best against Everton and finish our season well.”