FOOTBALL : Carlo Ancelotti will send out his strongest possible Chelsea side against Porto in the Champions League on Wednesday, despite already having qualified for the knockout stages.
Carlo Ancelotti will send out his strongest possible Chelsea side against Porto in the Champions League on Wednesday, despite already having qualified for the knockout stages.
New Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay recently insisted Chelsea’s target was to win the trophy twice within the next five years and it is a challenge Ancelotti is happy to accept.
Ancelotti said: “That’s not pressure. That is normal. The Champions League is the most important competition. I won it in 2003 and 2007 as a manager. As a player I won the Champions League in two years (1989 and 1990). So five years is a good period of time to try to win two Champions Leagues.”
He added: “It is an important game against Porto. We want to be in the first position in the group and this is the decisive game. We have to put out the best line-up. Afterwards we have time to rest and prepare for Arsenal.”
Michael Ballack and Deco should be back from injuries to face Porto, who trail Chelsea by a point with nine after four matches in Group D.
Frank Lampard, who injured his thigh on England duty, will not feature until the match against Arsenal at the earliest.
Didier Drogba has been in training after recuperating from the rib injury he received in his clash with Manchester United defender Jonny Evans but Ancelotti has not yet decided whether to risk him against Porto.
“If he feels good in training he will play, if not he won’t,” said Ancelotti.