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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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By ESPN Staff

Scolari gets Abramovich seal of approval

Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari has revealed how Roman Abramovich gave his seal of approval to the style of his first match in charge at Stamford Bridge. Abramovich is thought to want entertainment from the team he owns and Scolari delivered with the 4-0 Barclays Premier League win over Portsmouth a week ago. 'I only met Roman after the Portsmouth game,' he said. 'He likes our game, he likes the team in this game. Only this. 'We were talking about the Portsmouth game, nothing more than that.' More of the same is expected against Wigan this weekend, although Steve Bruce's men offer a more physical threat, with their attack led by Emile Heskey. Wigan Warriors rugby league team played at the JJB Stadium last night and the pitch responded well, which means Scolari will probably not have to use long-ball tactics that would be unsuitable for his team. 'Some players said to me it was a very good pitch. But if not we need to change, we need to play some high balls,' he said. 'But we need to play, and we need to think about this. I don't have players for long ball because Deco is short, Ashley Cole is not tall. We need to try.' Despite being a newcomer to England, Scolari knows about Wigan. 'Wigan is near Manchester, it's five hours by car from Cobham,' said Scolari. 'It's in the north of England and, more important than this, it's a good team, strong team, good physically, and they play well. 'I know the players - Heskey, (Amr) Zaki and (Olivier) Kapo. (Luis Antonio) Valencia and (Wilson) Palacios because they are South Americans. 'Heskey is difficult for a stopper to mark because he uses his body, he jumps very well, and he's smart. 'He's a good player. I played against him in 2002 in Korea and we have some special idea about him at that time - one player marked and one player behind.'

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