Everton welcome Brighton to Goodison Park on Saturday as Carlo Ancelotti celebrates his 100th game in charge of a Premier League side, and a win could grant him access to an exclusive managerial club.
The Italian will hit triple digits this weekend and, regardless of the result, only five managers have won more in their first 100 matches than him: Jose Mourinho (73), Pep Guardiola (73), Manuel Pellegrini (65), Sir Alex Ferguson (62) and Roberto Mancini (62).
That’s quite some achievement for the former Chelsea and current Everton boss. But, he could even go one further with a win over Brighton. Should his Toffees clinch three points against the Seagulls, he will bring up win number 60, and a win ratio of exactly 60 per cent.
Only five managers who have taken charge of 100 games or more in Premier League history boast a 60% win ratio or higher, the aforementioned Guardiola, Ferguson, Mourinho, and Roberto Mancini as well as Jurgen Klopp. Ancelotti now has the chance to join that legendary quintuple.
Relevant Sky Bet odds for Everton v Brighton:
- Everton to win 8/11
- Everton to win and over 3.5 goals in match 7/2
- Everton to win both halves 4/1
- Everton to win to nil 2/1
All odds stated in this article are accurate at the time of publication (19:30, 02/10/2020); but customers wishing to take advantage of Sky Bet’s various In-play special offers should note that they will certainly vary in price beyond kick-off. You have to be 18+ to gamble. BeGambleAware
Fortunately for Ancelotti, he has the firepower to achieve that. Summer recruits Allan — who looks set to miss the Brighton game with a muscle injury — Abdoulaye Doucoure and James Rodriguez have all settled in quickly and adjusted smoothly to the demands of Ancelotti, with each player bringing a unique quality to the table.
Rodriguez is one of only two players to create 10 or more chances so far, alongside Mohamed Salah, while Allan ranks joint-fourth for most tackles (12) — only James McArthur has more for midfielders (14) — and Doucoure brings a level of dynamism that was sorely lacking last campaign.
Sky Bet boost offer for Saturday’s 17:30 kick-off, Leeds vs Man City:
But, of course, the biggest difference-maker has been Dominic Calvert-Lewin, whose goalscoring exploits have yielded five goals in just three league games (including a hat-trick against West Brom) and culminated in a first-ever England call-up.
The in-form marksman has even produced in the League Cup, netting three against West Ham to take them to the quarter-finals and, in doing so, becoming the first player to score hat-tricks in consecutive home games under Ancelotti since Cristiano Ronaldo in 2014 — and Rodriguez was there for all four games.
Calvert-Lewin could even go one further this weekend. If he nets against Brighton, he will become the first English player to score in four consecutive league games for the Toffees since Francis Jeffers in September 2000. No wonder Ancelotti has uttered him in the same breath as Filippo Inzaghi.
Everton v Brighton: Relevant Sky Bet odds
- Dominic Calvert-Lewin to score first 7/2
- Dominic Calvert-Lewin to score last 7/2
- Dominic Calvert-Lewin to score anytime 13/10
- Dominic Calvert-Lewin to score and Everton to win 9/5
“I had a fantastic striker in Inzaghi, who scored 300 goals and 210 with one touch,” the Italian — who managed Inzaghi at AC Milan — told reporters.
“A striker has to be focused in the box and I think Calvert-Lewin understands really well because, in the box, he has speed, he jumps really high, he has power.”
So, things are certainly looking rosy on Merseyside at the minute, across both sides of Stanley Park. Of course, Ancelotti will know just how well Brighton have been playing under Graham Potter, but he has the experience and tactical know-how to not let complacency creep in, helping him celebrate a century in style.