Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has vowed to stick with his ‘diamond’ formation at Bolton on Saturday as the Premier League leaders look to end their away-day blues.
Ancelotti’s side have lost their last two away matches at Wigan and Aston Villa with performances that suggested the Italian coach’s tactics may be better suited to playing at home.
Chelsea have scored 13 goals in their last three home games and remain undefeated at Stamford Bridge this season.
Ancelotti knows they must reproduce that form on their travels if they are to end Manchester United’s three-year reign as champions and he is convinced the goals will soon start to flow in away matches as well.
“We want to maintain the same system. I said before that for this season, we follow this way at home and away,” said Ancelotti, whose team defeated Bolton 4-0 in the League Cup on Wednesday.
“The last two matches away were not good for us, but we don’t want to change because of that. I think this system is very good away from home.
“Saturday will be a different game to the game in the League Cup. I think that Bolton can play different, but we want to play at the same level.
“We will pay attention to their quality, but we will put our best qualities on the pitch.
“Bolton will want to change something from Wednesday. We want to play the same, because we played well. We stayed compact over the 90 minutes, which is important against Bolton.
“To win this Premier League is a very long race. If it’s possible to maintain being top of the table, as we are, then that’s good.
“It means we’ve started the season well. But the race is very long and will only finish at the end of the season.”
Chelsea have doubts about Branislav Ivanovic and Salomon Kalou for the trip to the Reebok Stadium, but John Terry, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Michael Essien and Ricardo Carvalho all return.
Terry, Lampard, Drogba, Essien and Michael Ballack have all been shortlisted for the FIFA World Player of the Year award.
It is the third year running that Chelsea have had five representatives on the shortlist.
FIFA will announce the names of the final three at the beginning of December and the winner will be revealed in Zurich on December 21.
Ancelotti added: “I am happy because this means that I have on my hands very good players and a very good team, and I hope that one of these five can win. It will be difficult, but I am hopeful.”
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