Aston Villa v Chelsea: Carlo Ancelotti expects a very different game to the 7-1 humiliation
But, thankfully, logic and football do not mix, as Carlo Ancelotti, would acknowledge. After all, he is the Chelsea manager. And, as such, his hold on the job is subject to the whims of just one man — just as it was in his previous posting at AC Milan and, like Silvio Berlusconi, Roman Abramovich likes to be in on the 'big moments' for his club. Related ArticlesCollins eyes revenge after Chelsea humiliationPortsmouth v Tottenham: match previewAston Villa v Chelsea: match previewLerner: I'm not at Villa to win popularity contestAncelotti aiming for the doublePortsmouth dealt double blowThat partly explained the illogical reaction to Chelsea's exit from the Champions League in which pressure was placed on Ancelotti, from inside the club, to deliver a trophy. Or two. It is why Ancelotti, somewhat against type, came out fighting with claims that it was a double, not just a Premier League title, that he was after. An impressive series of results has now raised that possibility. How quickly fortunes change, and Ancelotti knows all about that. He still cannot erase the memory of that night, the night, in Istanbul when Liverpool won the Champions League in 2006, overturning a 3-0 half-time deficit. 'I don't like to be reminded of the defeat,' Ancelotti said, 'to lose the final was not easy for me ... how we can move on? I think that the sport is sometimes odd.' Martin O'Neill, the Villa manager, would concur with that while Ancelotti expects a Villa altered in approach as well as attitude, from the one defeated 7-1. 'I know that it will be a different game,' he said. 'Maybe Aston Villa will be more concentrated, will have more determination. Maybe they'll want to change something on the pitch.' Ancelotti is likely to go with the same again, after the victory over Manchester United, although Didier Drogba may replace Nicolas Anelka at the point of the attack. It means another start for Joe Cole, who on Friday said of facing Villa: 'It's not going to be that easy again. They're going to be hurt. I have been on the end of 7-1 defeats and it's not nice. Those players will want to make sure they don't end up getting another result like that.' There is relief for Cole that he is rediscovering his form at last. 'I've had the broadest spectrum of ups and downs a footballer can have,' the 28-year-old midfielder said. 'I've captained a side to relegation [West Ham in 2003], I've won titles [Chelsea 2005, and 2006], I've missed out on playing in a major tournament [unused squad player in Euro 2004] and also started a World Cup, where I scored an amazing goal [Sweden 2006]. 'I just keep coming back, coming back stronger. I have steel, I've got some balls. People who market me as just a flair player are a bit lazy. Come and watch me for five or six games. I don't think there is a winger or an attacking midfielder who works as hard as me.'
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