Ancelotti's Everton Instruction For Leicester Clash

Carlo Ancelotti says Everton need to replicate the accomplished performance that defeated Chelsea at the weekend to achieve a similar result against Leicester City on Wednesday.

Gylfi Sigurdsson scored the only goal at Goodison Park on Saturday to keep Everton firmly in touch at the top of the Premier League table.

Ancelotti’s side are five points and six places behind Tottenham Hotspur at the summit.

Leicester, meanwhile, beat Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday to close to within one point of Spurs.

Everton’s visit to the King Power Stadium will see striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who has 11 Premier League goals this season, in opposition with one of his closest challengers for the Golden Boot in 10-goal Jamie Vardy.

“If we want to have a good result against Leicester, we need the same performance as against Chelsea,” said Ancelotti.

“We need to defend well, be focused there, and not let them have the possibility to play on the counter-attack.

“It is really difficult [to play against Leicester].

“They have players with quality, fast players, a fantastic striker in Vardy who is used to scoring in every game.

“Their best quality is their style of attack, it is really efficient

“We were satisfied with the performance against Chelsea.

“We are still not at the level of these teams [fighting for the title], we are working on this.

“The fact we competed with Tottenham [1-0 win] and Liverpool [2-2 draw] and had a good result against Chelsea is important for us.

“It means we are not so far from the top.

“But we have to understand we are not there, we have to work for this."

Ancelotti, talking in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday, agreed this Premier League season is shaping into one of the most “unpredictable” in the competition’s 29-year history.

Everton topped the division after five matches and following a dip prior to November’s international break have claimed seven points from four games.

Key to the success against Chelsea was an obdurate defensive display which earned a first clean sheet since beating Tottenham on the opening day.

Resisting Frank Lampard's team was all the more impressive for the makeshift appearance of Everton’s back four.

And it is feasible Ben Godfrey and Mason Holgate, both outstanding against the London team, will continue as full-backs in midweek, with Seamus Coleman and Lucas Digne both ruled out.

Likewise, Michael Keane and Yerry Mina are favourites to hold onto the centre-half positions.

“Every game is really complicated, there are a lot of surprises,” said Ancelotti.

“The table is really compact and Everton is there. This is good for us.

“Ben Godfrey is a good surprise for me, he is showing all his quality

“He is a guy with a strong personality, humble.

“I think we signed a really, really good defender.

“Yerry Mina is doing well, I am happy with his level.

“He had problems in some games, now he is more focused and concentrated and playing with confidence.”

Ancelotti reiterated his intention to rotate players during a relentless period.

Opportunity will knock for a number of individuals, then, and they’ll hope to follow the example of Sigurdsson, who marked his recall against Chelsea with an influential display and the decisive goal from the spot.

“He did really well and supported the team defensively and offensively,” said Ancelotti.

“He didn’t start a lot of games [five in the Premier League this season] but every time he played – and he played lots of parts of games – he did well.

“He can improve his level but in this moment he is okay.

Ancelotti was asked about Gerard Houllier, the former Paris Saint-Germain Liverpool, Lyon and Aston Villa manager, who passed away this week.

“I met him, not a lot of times, but all the times I met him, he was really nice, really kind,” said Ancelotti.

“He always showed a good image, he was a respectful man, and I am so sad about this.”