Belfast Telegraph

Carlo Ancelotti in need of boost for Chelsea

Carlo Ancelotti has promised to pick the strongest Chelsea team available for tonight's Champions League match with Marseille in the hope they can find some inspiration ahead of the gathering storm that is heading his way.

Five wins in five Champions League games have ensured Chelsea first place in Group F, but their form in the Premier League has been anything but perfect, with only five points won in their last six games.

Chelsea's intimidating fixture list starts with Tottenham Hotspur away on Sunday and includes games with Manchester United and Bolton before a visit to the current league leaders Arsenal on December 27.

Ancelotti acknowledges he could be out of a job by then, as owner Roman Abramovich is not a man to suffer failure for long.

In an ideal world, Ancelotti would rest his walking wounded like John Terry, who turned 30 yesterday and Didier Drogba, but he desperately needs a win tonight against Marseille, who are already guaranteed to finish second.

Ancelotti said: “This is an important game, maybe even a key game, although I would say the real key games are the ones we have to come now against Tottenham, United and Arsenal. This, though is a good moment for us to come back to playing like we can and have a good performance and win if possible.

“We want to win, but more importantly we have to show our way again. Maybe this could be a good opportunity to have a good performance to improve the confidence, to come back to playing our football.”

Chelsea travelled to the south of France yesterday without Ashley Cole, who has a slight ankle injury, and Nicolas Anelka.

Belfast Telegraph

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