FC COPENHAGEN vs CHELSEA
CHELSEA manager Carlo Ancelotti has defiantly claimed this could yet turn out to be the best season in the club’s history.
The?Blues renew their assault on the Champions League in Copenhagen tonight with Ancelotti hoping that a positive result will ease the mounting pressure on his shoulders.
Chelsea’s domestic objective is now restricted to securing fourth place following Saturday’s FA Cup defeat against Everton, but Ancelotti is confident entry to Europe’s premier competition can be cemented by winning the trophy at Wembley in May.
Ancelotti was in a similar predicament four years ago when, as manager of AC Milan, he won the Champions League after narrowly clinching fourth place in Serie A.
“The season is not finished,” said Ancelotti. “A lot of times, I’ve been able to manage this moment.
“I want to remind you in 2007 it was the same situation and the Italian journalists know this.
“Maybe it could be the best season that we can ever have a memory of. Maybe it could be the worst. I don’t know. But wait, wait. Chelsea has not died. It’s still alive.”
The Champions League has eluded and frustrated the club’s owner Roman Abramovich since he bought the Blues in 2003 and Ancelotti, like his boss, holds the competition in high esteem.
“The Champions League is the most important competition. We’re involved this season more compared with the other competitions,” he said.
“To be under pressure, this means to be focused and try to do our best in this competition, to try to win.”
KNOW YOUR ENEMY: FC COPENHAGEN
Top of the league by 19 points and the first Danish side to reach the Champions League last 16, but are ring-rusty as haven’t played a competitive match for 11 weeks.
A former Wimbledon midfielder and soon-to-be Norway boss, Stale Solbakken is just 42 but has already won the Danish league four times.
Brazilian striker Cesar Santin forms a handy partnership with Dame N’Doye and has hit 13 goals in 16 league games, and six in his last six
Chelsea old boy Jesper Gronkjaer still poses a threat with his trickery and crosses down the left flank – and incredibly is still only 33