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Injuries worry Ancelotti for Inter reunion

Published: Tuesday 23 February 2010, 21.45CET
Carlo Ancelotti admits he has a "problem" in defence as he takes his Chelsea FC side to FC Internazionale Milano, while José Mourinho is concerned he may know his opposition too well.
Injuries worry Ancelotti for Inter reunion
Carlo Ancelotti oversees Chelsea training ©AFP

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Published: Tuesday 23 February 2010, 21.45CET

Injuries worry Ancelotti for Inter reunion

Carlo Ancelotti admits he has a "problem" in defence as he takes his Chelsea FC side to FC Internazionale Milano, while José Mourinho is concerned he may know his opposition too well.

The UEFA Champions League first knockout round tie between FC Internazionale Milano and Chelsea FC brings together two coaches more than familiar with each other and their opponents but it is their own injury problems that concern José Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti. Both are missing their usual left-backs, and Ancelotti said Chelsea's defensive absences are "a problem" while Mourinho is pinning his hopes on the experience of Javier Zanetti with Davide Santon and Cristian Chivu both out.

José Mourinho, Inter coach
I know Chelsea well, but it doesn't mean it's easier. Sometimes it's more difficult when you know so much about a team as, if you don't decide the appropriate information you need to give to your players, it can be tough. I played against Porto with Chelsea the year after I left. It was my team, with my players, and still it was not easy. We won one game and lost the other.

Carlo Ancelotti knows Inter very well, he has worked all his life in Italian football. He's a local man, he knows everything about the players. It's all about intensity with the English teams. Santon didn't make it but Zanetti could be important for us, given that we are playing against a physically strong team.

Carlo Ancelotti, Chelsea manager
I'm not scared. We have to be focused on the qualities of [Inter] and limit them. What's happening around Inter at the moment doesn't make any difference to us. To beat them we have to do our best and give 100%, but Inter also have to give their best to beat us.

We are missing two left-backs, and Belletti could play but he's been out for a while. He's been training for a week and everything has gone well so far. We will find a solution but the two absences in defence are a problem. I respect Inter, and I know they really want to win this trophy, but so do Chelsea; we want to play this game in a fair spirit but also with intensity.

Team news
Cristian Chivu (fractured skull), Davide Santon (knee)
Júlio César (bruises, facial lacerations)
Suspended: none
Misses next match if booked:
Lúcio, Walter Samuel, Maicon, Javier Zanetti

• Santon has also been ruled out meaning Zanetti is a likely choice at left-back with Dejan Stanković, Sulley Muntari and Macdonald Mariga the possibilities to fill his midfield role. Samuel Eto'o should partner Diego Milito up front.

• Júlio César was involved in a car accident on Sunday that left him unable to train the following day but should start in goal. Dejan Stanković and Mario Balotelli are both back from injury.

Ashley Cole (ankle), Michael Essien (knee), José Bosingwa (knee), Yuri Zhirkov (calf), Deco (knee)
Misses next match if booked:
Michael Essien

• Frank Lampard missed Saturday's win at Wolverhampton Wanderers FC through illness but is available again, as are Alex and Belletti after knee injuries.

• Zhirkov's injury, on top of Cole's long-term absence, has given Ancelotti problems at left-back. Paulo Ferreira is not in the UEFA Champions League squad so, if the manager does not opt for Belletti, Florent Malouda is a possible choice, as is Branislav Ivanović.

Weekend results
20/02/10 Inter 0-0 UC Sampdoria

• Centre-backs Walter Samuel (31 minutes) and Iván Córdoba (38) were both sent off as Inter's nine-game winning home run ended but they are unbeaten at San Siro in 36 matches since 26 November 2008. Sampdoria ended with ten men after Giampaolo Pazzini was shown a second yellow card (73).

• Inter have now gone 211 minutes without scoring and their Serie A advantage over AS Roma is down to five points.

20/02/10 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 0-2 Chelsea
(Drogba 40 67)

• Drogba made it six goals in five games – and 25 for the season – since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations to move Chelsea four points clear of Manchester United FC at the Premier League summit.

• Chelsea have lost just one of their 15 competitive games since the end of the UEFA Champions League group stage.

• Inter have lost in the first knockout round in the last three seasons, being eliminated by English opposition for the last two years. The Italian champions lost 2-0 on aggregate to Manchester United FC in 2008/09, the first leg in Milan ending goalless.

• Since a 2-1 defeat at Fenerbahçe SK in the 2007/08 quarter-final first leg Chelsea have played ten away games – not including their defeat on penalties in the 2008 final in Moscow against Manchester United – drawing six with three wins and one defeat, at AS Roma in last season's group stage.

Team Ties
• During three full seasons at Chelsea, Mourinho reached two UEFA Champions League semi-finals, losing to Liverpool FC in 2005 and 2007. His last game in charge was a 1-1 home UEFA Champions League group-stage draw with Rosenborg BK on 18 September 2007.

• While in charge of AC Milan, Ancelotti won ten of 18 competitive games against Inter, losing five. Two of the three draws were in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League semi-final, Milan progressing on away goals after drawing 1-1 in Inter's home leg and going on to lift the trophy to give Ancelotti his first UEFA Champions League crown as a coach.

Did you know?
• Ancelotti and Mourinho were matched in the 2003 UEFA Super Cup when Milan beat FC Porto 1-0 in Monaco with Deco, Ricardo Carvalho and substitute Bosingwa on the losing side. In Serie A last season both coaches secured a home win for their respective teams.

Read more on the match in the official UEFA Champions League press kit.

Last updated: 27/09/14 3.57CET