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By ESPN Staff
Jul 30, 2008

Scolari praise for Malouda

Luiz Felipe Scolari insists there is a place for Florent Malouda at Chelsea after reports linked the French midfielder with a summer move to AS Roma.

Roma boss Luciano Spalletti has admitted the Serie A outfit are interested in the Chelsea midfielder but the Frenchman's agent, Pierre Frelot, claims Malouda is happy at Stamford Bridge.

Malouda joined Chelsea from Lyon last summer, but in Scolari's opinion the 28-year-old was wasted in more than 30 appearances under predecessors Jose Mourinho and Avram Grant.

'I want to know if he stays with us, what is his best position,' said Scolari.

'Last season he played in a different position than he did at Lyon. I want him to play on the wing like he did in Lyon. He was wasted last season.'

Malouda made a solid start to his Chelsea career and scored several early goals, including strikes in the Community Shield and on his Premier League debut.

But a two-month lay-off with a persistent knee injury took its toll before he returned towards the end of the campaign and played 92 minutes in the Champions League final.

Following Chelsea's 2-0 win over a Malaysian League XI yesterday, Scolari claimed he has decided on his team for the Premier League opener against Portsmouth on August 17 - but is still working with permutations to fully understand his new squad.

'I am testing all my players, I only have 11 places available. I need to choose 11 for the game against Portsmouth,' said the Brazilian.

'I need to look at the players and different formations, what position is the best for a player and what position I can use someone in during a game. If they try their best, it is my time to decide.

'I think I have my team for the first game against Portsmouth.'

After wrapping up their three-game Asian tour in Malaysia, Chelsea head to Russia for the Railway Cup and the scene of their heartbreaking Champions League final defeat to Manchester United.

But despite captain John Terry revealing the penalty shootout defeat is the first thing he thinks of every day, goalkeeper Petr Cech has no qualms about returning to Moscow.

Chelsea will face Lokomotiv Moscow on August 1 before facing Sevilla or AC Milan, who meet in the other semi-final, two days later.

'What happened in the past is in the past, we go there looking to the future as those two games will be important for us to prepare before the season and the first game against Portsmouth,' said Cech. 'For me it is in the past, this is a new season and I am only looking forward.

'The best thing we can do is go to the final again and win. That is the only way you can really forget about it and we still have plenty of time to do it.

'You can't just completely forget and turn the page and go on. It stays with you and the best thing you can do to get over losing a final is get to another one.'

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