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Ivanovic out, Drogba okay for Chelsea

Chelsea will have to face Aston Villa on Sunday without centre-back Branislav Ivanovic because of suspension.

Ivanovic picked up his fifth booking of the season against Bolton and will serve a one-match ban, meaning either youngster Jeffrey Bruma or veteran Paulo Ferreira will receive a call-up for the match at Stamford Bridge.

In better new for manager Carlo Ancelotti, Ivorian striker Didier Drogba is expected to be passed fit despite picking up a back injury during the midweek victory over Bolton.

“Drogba is ok, he had a knock on his back but he will be fine. We will miss Ivanovic but we have to find another solution,” Ancelotti said.

Chelsea, who beat Aston Villa 7-1 in the corresponding fixture last season, are desperate to take three points again to make it back-to-back wins after beating Bolton 1-0 at home on Wednesday.

“That victory was important to change the atmosphere, to change the trend and to come back to winning ways,” Ancelotti said.

“But now we need to follow it up with another win. It was important to end the bad moment but we are not yet at our best, we can still improve and we want to do that.”

“We have to put in another performance against Aston Villa. That’s the next step. We have to maintain the same performance against Villa – it will not easy but that is our aim.”

“The Premier League is open again and we have to stay in focus. The next game is at home and it’s a period when if we do our best we can come back quickly at the top of the table.”

“Villa are in trouble now so we have to pay attention because they will consider this game a good opportunity for them to come back.”

Chelsea captain John Terry is hoping to make 2011 every bit as good for the Blues as 2010.

Last season Chelsea won the Premier League and FA Cup double and Terry wants more success in the New Year.

“Winning our first double is something that everyone who was involved will always remember,” Terry said.

“But now we want to go on and have many more days like those we spent celebrating in May. We want 2011 to be as good as 2010 and now is a good time to win games.”

“With so many teams close together at the top of the league at the moment this is an important spell in the league season.”

Fri 31 December, 2010
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