MSK ZILINA vs CHELSEA
Sky Sports 2, ko 7.45pm
CHELSEA coach Carlo Ancelotti last night took the unusual step of announcing his starting line-up 24 hours before tonight’s Champions League clash with MSK Zilina.
The Italian says he will hand first starts of the season to Yossi Benyoun, Yuri Zhirkov and Daniel Sturridge, while captain John Terry has shaken off a rib injury and is also named.
The Blues are, however, without Frank Lampard, who is still out with a hernia problem, while Didier Drogba is suspended and Ashley Cole rested.
“Terry has no problem to play tomorrow, he is fit, he trained yesterday without problems so for this reason he is ready to play tomorrow,” Ancelotti said. “The team will be Cech, Ivanovic, Alex, Terry, Zhirkov, Benayoun, Essien, Mikel, Malouda, Anelka and Sturridge.”
But despite handing rare starts to his fringe stars, Ancelotti has warned his side against complacency and insists he will not be taking the Slovakian rookies lightly.
“We score a lot of goals, we started well this season but you have to pay attention to every game,” he added. “We are here to win because we want to start this season well. Tomorrow we have to keep attention, stay focused.
“Our aim is to win this group but it will not be easy. Every team has a quality and tomorrow Zilina can show fantastic motivation because for them it is an important game.
“Zilina is a good team. I saw the game against Sparta Prague, they deserved to move on. They have very good organisation defensively and ability up front and we have to pay attention to this.”