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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 22, 2009

Anelka predicts English treble in Europe

Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka believes his team will beat Juventus in their Champions League last-16 clash - and that Manchester United and Arsenal will have similar success against Italian opposition.

United face Inter Milan, while Arsenal take on Roma and Anelka is confident it will be the English sides who reach the quarter-finals rather than their Serie A counterparts.

However, the France forward is well aware that Chelsea will have to contain the threat of his former international team-mate David Trezeguet who is back playing after a lengthy injury lay-off.

"It's really bad news for us," Anelka told Gazzetta dello Sport. "I admire David, a goalscorer like few others, he was born to score. If you give him half a chance in the area he will take it.

"It's going to be a very tough match, Juve are a really top team. Against Italian sides it's always hard, tactically they're the best in Europe.

"If Chelsea don't find their feet, don't score a goal, we will be risking a lot. We have to score in the first leg, and especially not concede, so we can play for it all in Turin.

"Juve are right up there with Inter. (Alessandro) Del Piero is an inexhaustible talent. (Pavel) Nedved, (Gianluigi) Buffon...all of them.

"To beat this Juve, Chelsea have to put the maximum effort in."

He added: "If I had to bet though I think it will end 3-0 to the English sides. Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal will all progress.

"Just look at history. But anything can happen."

Anelka currently heads the Premier League goalscoring charts with 14 - needing three more to match his season's best at Manchester City and Arsenal.

However, Chelsea have shown signs of faltering in the league and the recent 3-0 loss to Manchester United saw them slip to third spot.

Anelka knows the team cannot afford any more mistakes.

"We're two points off United and Liverpool, the race is very open," he said. "But it is a very hard race.

"Up until now we've had bad games against United, Liverpool and Arsenal. It's obvious that we can't continue dropping points against our direct rivals, otherwise we can say goodbye to the title.

"On February 1 at Anfield we have to absolutely beat Liverpool."

Recent reports have hinted that Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari's job could be on the line, but Anelka insists the former Portugal coach is the right man for the job.

"He's Brazilian: he wants good football, attacking football, which is ideal for me." added the 29-year-old. "But he has only just arrived in England. He's still learning, English football is not like that of Brazil or Portugal."

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