Belfast Telegraph

Defiant Ancelotti out to turn up heat

Carlo Ancelotti insists Chelsea are ready to plunder Premier League glory from under the noses of Arsenal and Manchester United after shaking off the disappointment of their European exit.

Chelsea's title rivals remain in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, and Blues manager Ancelotti believes the physical and mental energy expended by Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson's teams could work in his own side's favour.

Arsenal boss Wenger claimed that Chelsea's exit from Europe has already mentally affected them.

“I agree with Arsene,” said Ancelotti. “Mentally, it wasn't good for us to go out of the Champions League.

“But after the victory against Portsmouth, this moment is finished. We have to look at every game. We play Aston Villa tomorrow and then have a week to prepare for Manchester United.

“That could be an advantage for us. Before, we had midweek games. We are disappointed to be out of the Champions League, but it could be an advantage.

“The quarter-finals will take out a lot of energy, not only physically but mentally. We can take advantage of that if we prepare well our own games, and if we play with good tempo, a good high tempo.

“The pressure is the same for all the teams now. We are arriving towards the end of the season and every game is very important. The pressure is normal at this stage of the season.”

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