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Carlo puts on United front

CHELSEA boss Carlo Ancelotti is looking forward to battling it out with Manchester United for the Premier League and Champions League titles.

Chelsea are two points clear of United at the top of the table and victory over Everton tonight will maintain their place at the summit.

Their 2-0 victory over Arsenal on Sunday put them nine points clear of the Gunners and many now see the battle for the Premier League as a two-horse race between the Blues and United.

"It is a good thing to have a race against Manchester United," Ancelotti added. "They are in the Champions League like us, so it is fantastic for English football to have two teams in battle until the end of the season.

"We have a desire to win something this season. We have done very well until now in these seven months and now we have to do better because every game could be decisive.

"Both teams are in good condition now and they are very confident. I saw Manchester United play Arsenal and they did very well.

"It will be a race. We have our characteristics and they have theirs. If you do not have injuries, sometimes you can be lucky, it can be important.

Ancelotti also believes that John Terry's relationship with England manager Fabio Capello will not have been affected by the Italian's decision to strip the defender of the national team captaincy.

Capello relieved Terry of his duties as England's on-field leader during a short meeting at Wembley last Friday.

Terry responded with an inspirational performance in Chelsea's 2-0 win over Arsenal 48 hours later and will lead the Blues out at Goodison Park tonight.


The defender is likely to fly out to Dubai after the game in a bid to patch up his marriage to wife Toni following allegations of an affair with Vanessa Perroncel, the ex-girlfriend of his one-time Chelsea team-mate Wayne Bridge.

Terry has already thanked the Chelsea fans for the support they gave him against Arsenal and although he is no longer captain of his country, Ancelotti says the player is professional enough to have a working relationship with Capello in the future.

"The team is not just John Terry, there are some other fantastic players," said Ancelotti. "I think nothing changes in the relationship between Capello and John Terry.

"If he needs to have a rest after Everton, I will allow him. I always said I would give him total support to do his private thing.

"I think Terry is one of the most important players in this team. We have some fantastic players but he's not dispensable.

"We are able to keep things outside the training ground and have a good atmosphere. Here there is a very good atmosphere."

Chelsea have a minor doubt over midfielder Deco ahead of the Everton game. The Portugal international has a knee problem and may not be risked.