Carlo Ancelotti was in bullish mood this morning ahead of his Chelsea sides visit to face Manchester City tomorrow lunch time.
Despite revealing that Frank Lampard would not be risked in this clash, as the midfielder was in his own words, not “100% ready”, Ancelotti chose to name the full starting XI that would take on the Citizens with Cech, Ivanovic, Ashley Cole, Mikel, Essien, Malouda and Didier Drogba all returning alongside Alex, Nicolas Anelka, John Terry and Ramires who all featured in midweek.
There was a degree of bad news with scans revealing that Salomon Kalou and Yossi Benyaoun would both be out for up to three weeks with injuries picked up in the Blues Carling Cup defeat to Newcastle. Carlo expects both players to return after the international break.
“They have an injury, they had a check yesterday and I think they will be able to come back after the international break, maybe three weeks, the other players are okay. Kakuta is okay, Terry is okay, the other players are fit.”
Despite the Double Winners losing their first game this season, a dramatic 4-3 thriller against Newcastle at the Bridge, Carlo was confident in his side and would not let the loss of one game become an issue.
“The Carling Cup was another competition, we wanted to use this for the young players and this is another story, the Premier League. It is our priority with the Champions League and tomorrow we will have a fresh team. I have a lot of confidence with my players for the game.”
With the trip to the City of Manchester Stadium said to the Blues first real test of the season, critics have been quick to point out that Chelsea have had a somewhat favourable start to their domestic campaign, something Ancelotti was keen to dispel.
“‘Every game is easy after” he quipped. “You win 6-0 you can say it was an easy game. Before, every game is difficult and you have to prepare every game, we started well this season and now we have another game, a different opponent.”
“Manchester City is a strong team, players with a lot of skills, but it is a game, and we have to do the same, do our best and show our football for 90 minutes.”
“Every game is a test, [this] is an important test, it is also a test for Man City tomorrow. It is a match against one of the most important teams in the Premier League.”