Tuesday 20 February 2018

Ancelotti turns to Drogba for Blackpool clash

Jason Burt

Didier Drogba is set to start Chelsea's Premier League match away to Blackpool tonight as the striker continues to fight for his future at the club.

Carlo Ancelotti was impressed by Drogba's second-half contribution against Manchester United last week and is planning to pair him with Fernando Torres.

The two strikers have not started a match for Chelsea since Torres' debut -- against Liverpool -- following his £50m move from the same club.

Instead, Nicolas Anelka has forged a productive partnership with the Spaniard.

Ancelotti said that the introduction of Drogba and the other substitutes had "changed the game" against United.

Drogba has already stated that he wants to stay at Chelsea, although if he is regularly overlooked by Ancelotti that will change, especially as the club are considering signing another striker in the summer.

"I have taken a decision already," Ancelotti said, when asked whether Drogba would start at Bloomfield Road. "You will know on Monday."

Ancelotti said the victory over United had created: "a different atmosphere" at the club. The Italian admitted that he had masked the club's problems previously following: "two months of bad form".

"A lot of times in the past I've said the atmosphere is good," he said.

"Sometimes it wasn't really good because the players had more difficulties to train, with less confidence. Now the confidence has improved. The players are training well, so I have confidence in the future."

The arrival of Torres and David Luiz had also helped to transform the squad, Ancelotti conceded.

"Obviously we have more power now, but also without them, last year, we won the double. We could have done the same with them, but we have more power now. We are glad to have them," he said.

"Against United, I had a fantastic bench and, obviously, Didier, (Yuri) Zhirkov and (Jose) Bosingwa gave fantastic support when they went on."

Options are something that Blackpool manager Ian Holloway is lacking, with DJ Campbell and Charlie Adam suspended tonight as the club face up to an expected battle against relegation for the remainder of the season. Nevertheless they beat Spurs in their last home match.

"We have to be prepared and be aware," Ancelotti said. "We have to be more in focus against them than we were against United. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Blackpool v Chelsea,

Live, Sky Sports 1, 8.0

Irish Independent

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