Carlo Ancelotti has dismissed claims Everton’s trip to West Ham this weekend has taken on added significance because he was appointed ahead of David Moyes to the Toffees’ top job.
Moyes was linked with a return to the club he managed for more than a decade last month but the availability of Ancelotti saw the decorated Italian handed a four-and-a-half-year contract.
Since then, Moyes has been reappointed as West Ham boss, and Ancelotti is convinced the Scot will be focused on his own club and not how he was overlooked by the Everton hierarchy.
The Everton boss said: “The motivation is there to try to improve West Ham’s position in the table, to try to do the best at his job.
“He has no extra motivation to play against Everton.
“He was here for a lot of years, he did really well at this club and everyone respects him.
“It will be an interesting game and I hope that we play a good game and try to win.”
Ancelotti has started his tenure with three wins in four Premier League matches but he has suffered a double blow ahead of the visit to the London Stadium, with the news Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson will miss out.
Richarlison, who struck his 10th goal of the season in last Saturday’s 1-0 win over Brighton, went down with a knee injury in training on Thursday, although Ancelotti is hopeful the Brazilian forward will recover in time to face Newcastle next Tuesday.
Midfielder Sigurdsson, meanwhile, has a groin problem but Yerry Mina is in contention for a place in the back four following a knock.
Ancelotti added: “Yerry Mina is available but we are without for this game Richarlison; he had a little problem in training and will not be available for the game. I hope he will be available on Tuesday.
“It is a little problem with his knee, he had a little twist. Nothing special but unfortunately he will not be available.
“We are also without Sigurdsson – that is minor groin issues. The other players are all fit and in good condition.”
Ancelotti was less forthcoming about Everton’s transfer targets in the January window.
He said: “Just to be clear, I don’t want to talk about players that are not here. We are looking at a lot of players and there are a lot of good players around the world.”
On those he has at his disposal, Ancelotti added: “This is the squad I have to work with and I’m happy to work with these players because there is a good spirit in the training ground. They are professional so no problem at all.”
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