Chelsea have the chance to quickly erase the memories of the performance at Ewood Park with our game in hand at bottom club Portsmouth on Wednesday night.

Victory for Ancelotti’s side would see us climb back up to second, and just a point beyond Manchester United as the title race heats up.

But given our recent form, a blockbuster performance at Fratton Park shouldn’t be expected; no matter how desperately it’s needed.

With just 4 wins in our last 9, and one of those coming in the FA Cup against Championship opposition in Cardiff, whilst the others were against Wolves, Stoke and West Ham, Chelsea are still yet to get over the wobble that began back in December.
The second half showing on Sunday was similar to that against Inter, suddenly we cannot keep the ball, and on the narrow Pompey pitch, possession will be essential.

A good win would be wonders for morale, and given our past record at Fratton Park, Carlo Ancelotti should feel confident.
Since the South Coast club returned to the top flight in 2003, they’ve managed only one goal against us at Fratton Park, a Jermaine Defoe goal that also helped provide Avram Grant’s side with their only point against the Blues home or away since 1988.

Chelsea on the other hand have always enjoyed visiting the seaside town, scoring 10 goals in our 6 Premier League visits, and keeping five clean sheets.

Our last visit there was just over a year ago, when Didier Drogba scored the only goal on a soaking night. It was only Guus Hiddink’s fourth game in charge and helped maintain the Dutchman’s winning start.

Branislav Ivanovic is the latest casualty, after he limped away from Ewood Park on Sunday with a knee ligament injury. Paolo Ferreria is likely to replace him at right back, with Zhirkov at left-back.

Petr Cech and Ricardo Carvalho could also return from injury to sure up the defence.

The referee is Lee Mason, who has only taken charge of the Blues once this season; our 4-0 home win over Wolves back in November.

This game could prove the perfect opportunity to blow away some of the dark clouds that have appeared overhead in the last week.

A disappointing set of results behind us, it’s now down to the players to show real character in reacting, something this club has always been good at.

There are crucial games ahead away from the Bridge, and a win at Fratton Park would be the ideal starting point to launch the final push for the title in what’s been a very topsy-turvy league campaign. We have a familiar face in the opposition dugout, so now would be a good time to return to a more recognisable Chelsea; a winning team.

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