Ancelotti confirms Everton star defying fitness ‘doubts’ to face Man Utd

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti says James Rodriguez will face Manchester United, despite the pair harbouring differing views over his fitness.

The Colombian playmaker has had his stunning start to life at Everton halted by a recent injury.

After three goals and four assists in seven games, he did not feature in last weekend’s 2-1 loss to Newcastle.

What’s more, there was doubt about whether he would return for Saturday’s crunch clash with Manchester United.

However, with both sides losing their last two games, Ancelotti admitted that even a “50 per cent” performance from Rodriguez could cause his opponents serious problems.

“He said that he’s 100 per cent,” the manager revealed in Friday’s pre-match press conference.

“I have some doubt that he’s 100 per cent but it doesn’t matter for me if he is able to show he is 50 per cent.”

Everton’s recent two defeats have dampened their strong start, with United on an identical run. However, unlike Ancelotti, there are growing calls for Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to leave his post.

Ancelotti, one of Europe’s most experienced managers, says he can relate to his managerial colleague.

ancelotti.solskjaer - Ancelotti confirms Everton star defying fitness ‘doubts’ to face Man Utd

“In general I have sympathy for all managers, it is a difficult job,” the three-time Champions League winner said.

“I have more experience than Ole and I can say to him that when things are not good there is only one (person) responsible and that is the manager.

“Every manger is under pressure and I can say the pressure we have is a privilege so we have to be good to analyse ourselves but with a good mind.

“It’s not as much pressure as is on someone who has to get up at 4am for work.”

 

Solskjaer wary of Everton danger

 

 

Meanwhile, Solskjaer also held his pre-match press briefing on Friday afternoon.

The United manager confirmed that a key star has returned to training and could feature at Goodison Park.

He also picked out the dangers Ancelotti’s men – and Dominic Calvert-Lewin in particular – will pose.

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