With the snow now finally retreating and normality returning to the southern part of England, Chelsea take on a slippery situation of their own as Everton roll up to Stamford Bridge.
John Terry returns at the centre of defence just as Alex undertakes surgery that will see him out for around six-eight weeks, as does Michael Essien after missing three matches due to suspension. Lampard is still not yet ready to return.
Didier Drogba should lead the line with Kalou and Anelka, with Florent Malouda expected to remain in the mid-field with Mikel and Essien as Zhirkov is still not yet match fit.
In Friday’s press conference, Ancelotti spoke of Terry, saying; “John Terry is able to play, he trained well all this week, completely, and didn’t have a problem. He was in good condition and tomorrow will start.”
The Italian reported; “He trained without problem this week, I think the problem has gone. Maybe for the next game he will be 100 per cent because he has trained just three days but in the games he can improve his condition and it is not so important that he has to be 100 per cent.”
Ancelotti added; “Terry is important for other things. He has good control of the defensive line, he can speak and support the other players and can show character also.
Speaking of Essien’s return, Carlo noted; “‘Michael Essien like John Terry brings personality, brings character, bring qualities on the pitch, without Lampard we have difficulty in scoring goals from midfield. Essien was able to score and also for this reason it could be important to have him against Everton.”
With Essien about to make his 200th appearance for the club, the Ghanaian stated; “I am very happy in England, very happy in London and very happy playing for this club, I am so lucky to play for Chelsea, I couldn’t ask for more. I am at one of the biggest clubs in the world and I’m really enjoying my football.”
On his future with the club he said; “I hope there will be another 200 games. I have no plans to leave Chelsea, I owe this club a lot and I want to pay Chelsea and the fans back with my performances. I hope I can help the team win more trophies. If the chance comes to finish my career here I will take it but in football you never know, we will see what happens.”
Looking at the challenge Everton with bring, Ancelotti reflected on the importance of the match; “We’ve lost top of the table, didn’t score a lot of goals but now the most important thing is that we want to close this period. We have to close this period with a victory. It is not so important to stay top now, it is important at the end of the season, and we must focus on this game.!
“I put pressure on my players for this game. I want to see everything we can do, character, personality, good play, because I think it is one of the most important games for us in the season.”
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