Tonight Sir Didier of Drogba makes his return to the Champions League, in an effort to help Chelsea secure qualification for the next round.
With injuries mounting up, Ancelotti gave some indication of who may play by stating who won’t. “Malouda and Bosingwa are not available for tomorrow. Malouda has a problem on his ankle after a tackle in the last game,’ reported Ancelotti. ‘It’s not a big problem but he won’t be available for tomorrow. I hope he is ready for the game against Liverpool.”
“Lampard is out, as is Benayoun, as we know, and Bosingwa is not ready for tomorrow. There is more than a 50 per cent possibility Lampard will be involved in the game against Liverpool. The other players are good, they’ve had a good recovery from the game against Blackburn but I want to look at all the players before I make a decision about the team tomorrow.”
He added; “Maybe I can change something compared to the line-up against Blackburn because I want to make sure all the players have recovered well. We have a lot of important games, tomorrow, against Liverpool, against Fulham and I want everyone in good condition with no injuries. I don’t want to take a risk.”
Didier Drogba is expected to start alongside either Kalou or Sturridge with Anelka up front, with a midfield of Ramires, Essien and Mikel, Ivanovic should keep his right back slot with Alex, Cole and JT completing the defence.
Speaking of Drogba, Ancelotti said; “‘He is involved, he wants to play and give his support to the team. He was out of the previous games, the team did well and we won but with Drogba we have more possibility to win.”
Branislav Ivanovic is certainly happy to see the return of Drogba; “Didier is a very important player for us. Defensively he is very important because with corners against us and free-kicks he clears a lot of balls and does a very good job.” The Serbian believes we can go all the way this season; “‘It is an important competition and everyone has in their mind to try and win but it is very difficult to play every game at the same level.”‘
He added; “You play the teams from Europe, from other countries and you have to be ready for every team. I like to go step-by-step. Now if you think about the final you will never get to the final, you have to go step-by-step. Everyone in this club is thinking only of Chelsea and to give to this club success so we can try and win trophies. We have a good enough squad to win this but we have to show this on the pitch and not just say it.”
If you’re on way to the match tonight, be reminded about the strike action that will cause disruption throughout Wednesday. Certain services are expected to run on Wednesday but Fulham Broadway Station and Parsons Green will be closed for the duration of the strike, with West Brompton and Parsons Green stations closing from 9pm.
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