Pep Guardiola backs Carlo Ancelotti to be successful at Everton as Italian boss hails Man City counterpart a

Pep Guardiola believes Everton are destined for success under the guidance of Carlo Ancelotti.

The Premier League champions host Ancelotti’s new side at the Etihad Stadium on New Year’s Day – a match you can follow live on talkSPORT

Guardiola has backed Ancelotti to be a success at Everton

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Guardiola has backed Ancelotti to be a success at Everton

The appointment of the much-decorated Italian in December was a huge coup for the Merseysiders and Guardiola expects his experience to rub off on the team.

Guardiola said: “Carlo is one of the smartest guys. He is always able, it doesn’t matter the team, to make them work. They have had good results in the last two games so it is a difficult test for us.

“I think it is incredible news for English football he is back and I think he can make an incredible job there.”

Asked if he thought Ancelotti would be successful, Guardiola said: “I am pretty sure, yes.”

Guardiola, however, disagreed with Ancelotti’s description of him as a ‘genius’.

“I am not,” the Spaniard said at his pre-match press conference.

The visit of Everton is City’s third game in six days after defeat at Wolves last Friday and victory over Sheffield United on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Ancelotti has labelled Guardiola a genius ahead of his side’s visit to the Etihad.

“Pep is a fantastic manager,” Ancelotti said at his weekly press conference at Finch Farm.

“I have a really good relationship with him and a lot of respect. He is a genius because he’s always tried to do something special on the pitch.”

Ancelotti has labelled Guardiola a genius

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Ancelotti has labelled Guardiola a genius

City are currently 14 points behind league leaders Liverpool in the title race but Ancelotti believes the reigning champions will help gauge Everton’s Premier League revival, which has brought consecutive victories since the 60-year-old took charge from interim boss Duncan Ferguson.

“Against City this is a fantastic test to see where we are at,” said Ancelotti, whose side face Liverpool in the FA Cup on Sunday.

“Maybe City are not at the same level as last year but Liverpool won all their games except one, that is the difference.

“City remain a fantastic team, with a fantastic manager, and it will be really tough to compete with them but we can have confidence to do our best.

“I think at this moment it is good to have this kind of test, also against Liverpool. We have to be happy to compete against the top team in England and in Europe.”