Three Nigerian players, Wilfred Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi are likely to be on parade on Wednesday when Leicester City tackle Everton in the Premier League duel.
According to the Leicester City manager, Brendan Rodgers, midfielder James Maddison is a doubt for the Foxes’ return to Premier League action.
The Foxes have overcome the Toffees on two occasions already this term – both in dramatic circumstances – as Kelechi Iheanacho’s last-minute winner in the league at King Power Stadium was followed by a penalty shootout triumph at Goodison Park in the last-eight of the Carabao Cup in December.
Ahead of Wednesday’s encounter, LCFC.com continues its series profiling City’s opposition with a closer inspection of their 12th-placed hosts.
Italian legend Carlo Ancelotti signed a four-and-a-half-year deal at Everton on 21 December, 2019, replacing Marco Silva at Goodison Park, following Duncan Ferguson’s brief spell as caretaker manager.
As a midfielder, Ancelotti enjoyed a successful career during his playing days, winning the Serie A title once with AS Roma and on two occasions for AC Milan, alongside four Coppa Italia triumphs in Rome. In 1989 and 1990, Reggiolo-born Ancelotti also lifted two European Cups with Milan, while finishing third at the FIFA World Cup, in Italy, in 1990.
He initially started his coaching career as Italy’s assistant manager, alongside Arrigo Sacchi, before guiding Serie B side Reggiana to promotion to the top tier in 1996 and leaving after one season.
His next move was to Parma, where he oversaw a side including Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro and Gianfranco Zola, who helped him to seal a second-placed finish in his first season. A disappointing sixth-placed finish in 1997/98, though, ended with him departing and moving onto Juventus in February 1999, where he both succeeded and preceded another legendary Italian manager, Marcello Lippi.
Despite holding a five-point lead in the title race with three games to go in 1999/00, Lazio pipped Juventus to top-spot, and although he won the Intertoto Cup in his first full season in charge, Ancelotti left after another second-placed finish in 2000/01.
The Italian’s eight-year spell at Milan, though, is regarded as his most successful stint, winning Serie A in 2004, the Coppa Italia (2003), UEFA Super Cup (2003 and 2007), Supercoppa Italiana (2004), FIFA Club World Cup (2007) and two Champions Leagues, in 2003 and 2007.
That latter triumph over Liverpool, in 2007, came just two years after the Reds stunningly came back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 in Istanbul, before going on to win the penalty shootout in the final.
A move to England to manage Chelsea in 2009 resulted in the Premier League title during his first season, scoring 103 goals in the process, which was added to by the FA Cup, beating Portsmouth at Wembley. Ancelotti headed to Paris Saint-Germain in 2011, winning Ligue 1 in 2013, before, at Real Madrid, also securing a third Champions League, the Copa del Rey, Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.
One year as Bayern Munich’s manager, on the other hand, replacing Pep Guardiola, resulted in the 2016/17 Bundesliga title, as well as two DFL-Supercup successes, before an unusually trophy-less spell at Napoli.
Everton have a plethora of international players in their ranks, including England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, Brazil star Richarlison and Iceland playmaker Gylfi Sigurðsson.
In the summer of 2019, they signed a number of talented players, including Moise Kean from Juventus, Jean-Philippe Gbamin from FSV Mainz and Alex Iwobi from fellow Premier League outfit Arsenal. The Toffees currently lie in 12th position in the Premier League on 41 points, while youngster Dominic Calvert-Lewin leads the scoring charts on 15 strikes in all competitions.
Shot-stopper Pickford has made the most appearances for Everton this term, starring on 31 occasions in the Premier League, closely followed by Richarliison (29) and Lucas Digne (28). Their most recent starting XI, in a 1-0 win over Norwich City, was: Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Holgate, Digne; Iwobi, Davies, Gomes; Bernard, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison.
The Toffees have lifted England’s first division title on nine occasions, in 1891, 1915, 1928, 1932, 1939, 1963, 1970, 1985 and 1987. Their trophy cabinet also features five FA Cups, of which their 1995 triumph is their most recent piece of silverware.
In addition, they won the second division in 1931, as well as the FA Community Shield (former FA Charity Shield) on nine occasions. On the European front, meanwhile, a 3-1 victory over Rapid Vienna in Rotterdam saw them claim the 1985 European Cup Winners’ Cup trophy.
Goodison Park has been the home of Everton Football Club since 1892, and has a capacity of just over 39,000.
The stadium’s record attendance came during the 1948 Merseyside derby, as over 78,000 fans watched Everton draw 1-1 with Liverpool. Goodison Park has hosted an FA Cup Final, as well as a number of international matches, most notably a semi-final fixture at the 1966 FIFA World Cup.
Meanwhile, the Merseyside outfit has recently announced plans to build a new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock, on the banks of the River Mersey. City’s last Premier League trip to Goodison Park, on 1 January, 2019, ended in a 1-0 win for the Foxes, courtesy of Jamie Vardy’s solitary goal.
Following Wednesday’s meeting with Leicester, Everton head to the capital to face Tottenham Hotspur on Monday 6 July (8pm kick-off), before welcoming Southampton to Merseyside on Thursday 9 July (6pm kick-off). Then it’s Wolverhampton Wanderers (A), Aston Villa (H), Sheffield United (A), and AFC Bournemouth (A) for the Toffees.