Carlo Ancelotti thinks Arsenal are scared of Didier Drogba and that Chelsea have every chance of extending their excellent run against the Gunners if he is at his best.
Chelsea have won their last five meetings with Arsene Wenger's side, with Drogba scoring six times and Ancelotti feels that with the striker finally over the effects of malaria, he can steer them to a first Premier League victory in six weeks.
'I think they are a little bit afraid of Drogba,' said Ancelotti, who is giving his team Christmas Day off.
'He has done very well against them. If Drogba plays at his best, we'll have a better chance of winning.
'Arsenal are able to play fantastic football. But maybe they concede something defensively, so we have to use our ability to find the right space to create problems.'
Drogba was left out of the side by Ancelotti for the 1-1 draw at Tottenham a fortnight ago but came off the bench to score the equaliser and looked menacing.
Off duty: Lampard will take spot-kicks following Drogba's miss against Spurs
After the Ivorian missed a last-minute penalty at White Hart Lane, it is the returning Frank Lampard who will now take spot-kicks as Chelsea aim to cut the gap on Manchester United, which could be six points by Monday's game.
'Manchester United are having fantastic results because they've not lost, they're continuously getting results. We don't want that gap to widen. So it's important to win this game.'
Ancelotti had a relaxed air about him ahead of a visit to Italy to see his family but is angry about the scheduling over the next few days, which sees Chelsea host Bolton two days after the Arsenal game, with Owen Coyle's side having an extra day to prepare after their Boxing Day clash with West Bromwich.
'We'll have two days, compared to Bolton who, unfortunately, play on the 26th. We play on the 27th. That's not a good thing, to have one day less to recover.'
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