Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has revealed that Didier Drogba will start in the FA Cup clash against Everton, having dropped the striker for the 0-0 draw with Fulham.
Terry to fight for place
Reports had suggested that Drogba was unhappy about being left on the bench to accommodate £50 million man Fernando Torres, but Ancelotti insists that the Ivorian is focused on getting himself back into the side.
"Drogba will start," said Ancelotti. "I don't know about Nicolas Anelka, but I have to start with Drogba. It is never an easy decision to leave players out, but Didier has shown a very good reaction. He has trained well, with motivation, and he wants to play a good game tomorrow.
"From what I have seen, he's the same Didier - focusing on training and working hard with good motivation. I think he will play a fantastic game."
Torres flopped on his debut against former club Liverpool and was arguably even worse at Fulham on Monday night. But Ancelotti is adamant that the Spain striker's arrival has not been disruptive, saying: "It is not the fault of Fernando, obviously. I think that he needs to have time.
"In my opinion, he played well for 60 minutes against Fulham. He had two or three opportunities. He didn't score but he will score, obviously.''
With only 12 league games remaining for Chelsea to overhaul Tottenham or Manchester City to get into the Premier League's top four and with both remaining cup competitions purely knockout affairs, it is questionable how much time Torres can be afforded.
"He needs to have time, but playing, to improve his combination with the other players,'' Ancelotti said. "It will take time playing with us.''
The Chelsea manager added that he will "rotate" his squad for Saturday's cup clash, as Torres is ineligible after playing in the competition earlier in the season with Liverpool. Salomon Kalou is likely to come in on the right, as Chelsea seek to become the first team to win the FA Cup for three consecutive years since Blackburn in the 1880s.
"I hope we can do it," said Ancelotti. "I know this statistic and it is another extra motivation for us. We want to do our best. If [we] are able to move on against Everton, we can have [the] possibility to play the semi-final at Wembley.
"In the Premier League now, we are fifth. That is our problem. We want to work to arrive quickly in the first four places but it is not good and we have to be honest. The FA Cup is another competition and a different story. We did very well last year and won.
"Everton will be a very difficult game. Every game against them is difficult. But we want to win and do our best to move on and play Reading."