Carlo Ancelotti believes Liverpool have an advantage in being able to play at an empty Goodison Park on Sunday, as Everton welcome the Reds for the Merseyside derby.

The Premier League is set for its first full round of games this coming weekend and Everton have been handed a big test against the runaway league leaders.


The game will be played behind closed doors and even though Everton will be playing in a ground and on a pitch which is familiar to them, Ancelotti thinks the lack of fans gives an advantage to Liverpool.

He told Everton's official site: "We would like to play the derby at home with our supporters, of course.

"This is an advantage for Liverpool, to play at Goodison Park without our supporters – and that is the same for any team going to play away.

"We are working to try to overcome this problem and to play a fantastic game."

The Everton manager feels that the lesson from Germany, where the Bundesliga behind closed doors is in full swing, is that away teams have been boosted by the absence of fans.

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"The statistics [from Germany] are something you have to consider", Ancelotti stressed.

"There have been more injuries, for sure, and the away team has more possibility, I think.

"The crowd is the 12th man on the pitch.

"The fact you don’t have them supporting you will make it more difficult for the home team."

Liverpool have lost just once in the Premier League this season, suffering a shock defeat away at Watford, and Ancelotti will be desperate for Everton to follow the Hornets' lead.