Carlo Ancelotti is braced for an emotional return to Stamford Bridge, but says Roman Abramovich never revealed why he sacked him.
Ancelotti has never been in the opposing dugout since his departure, but has returned to watch games three times in the intervening nine years and was bowled over by the regard in which Chelsea fans held him.
Carlo Ancelotti says Roman Abramovich never revealed why he sacked him as Chelsea boss
Everton’s current manager led Chelsea to a Premier League and FA Cup double in 2010
His aim on Sunday, though, is to mastermind Everton’s first victory at Stamford Bridge since November 1994 and end a sequence of 38 away games at the traditional Big Six clubs without a win — dating back to December 2013.
‘I think it will be an emotional moment for me,’ said Ancelotti. ‘I have a fantastic memory of the period that I was there, it was really two unbelievable years. I’m really excited to come back.
‘I didn’t speak to (Abramovich) after I was sacked. I still have a good relationship with him, he was very kind the times I went back to watch Chelsea games and so I have to say thanks. He gave to me a great opportunity to be the manager of one of the top teams in England.’
Everton last night confirmed that Dominic Calvert-Lewin has signed a new five-year contract. He becomes the second young player this week, after Mason Holgate, to commit to the club. Ancelotti also wants Leighton Baines to sign a 12-month extension.
But 12 months later the Italian was sacked in the tunnel after a 1-0 defeat at Everton
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard’s hand will be forced by the absence of nine senior players through injury and suspension tomorrow, but one selection dilemma he does face is in goal.
Kepa Arrizabalaga was dropped for the last four league matches, with Willy Caballero taking his place, but Kepa shone in the 2-0 FA Cup win over Liverpool on Tuesday.
‘He did very well,’ said Lampard. ‘It’s exactly what I wanted from him and I understand that’s not easy.
‘He’s been professional when he’s been out. He came in and did exactly what I want so he’s given me good thinking to do.’
Ancelotti’s main aim is to mastermind Everton’s first victory at Chelsea since November 1994