Anelka central to Blues’ hopes

Carlo Ancelotti has confidence in Nicolas Anelka’s striking prowess as the hitman prepares to spearhead Chelsea’s attack against Marseille.

Anelka will be the main striker for the Blues with Ivory Coast forward Didier Drogba sitting out the last game of his two-match suspension.

Chelsea won their opening game in Group F 4-1 against Slovakian minnows MSK Zilina, with Anelka getting on the scoresheet twice.

Ancelotti will be looking for more of the same from the former France international, especially against the French champions.

"I don’t think he will be afraid or scared because the game is on French television," said Ancelotti.

"He is in a fantastic moment and he will play for the team as he always does.

"He is able to play in every position up front. For his kind of skills he is perfect to play up front because he has speed, he has quality and he can support the players who come from midfield.

"He is a fantastic striker for this reason. He is able to play in every position on the pitch."

Ancelotti confirmed that England midfielder Frank Lampard’s hernia problem has forced him out of the game against Marseille and England’s next Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro next month.

Also missing are injured striker Salomon Kalou and midfielder Yossi Benayoun and although Chelsea suffered their first league defeat of the season against Manchester City last Saturday, following their Carling Cup exit to Newcastle, Ancelotti remains largely unconcerned.

"I said before Saturday that it would be very difficult to be unbeaten during the season because it is very competitive here," said Ancelotti.

"I don’t ask my players for a reaction. We have to play our football and pay attention. Marseille will look to get three points from this game because they lost the first one."

Marseille boss Didier Deschamps insists his side must be on top form if they are to get any reward from the clash.

Deschamps returns to his former club boosted by two league victories but he is acutely aware Marseille cannot afford to make any mistakes against a Chelsea side smarting from two successive defeats.

After defeat to Spartak Moscow, Deschamps knows it is imperative they get something from their trip to west London.

"Winning two games does not so much give us a guarantee but a calmness going into this game," said Deschamps. "It is a bigger task taking on a team like Chelsea.

"We have got to go into this game making no mistakes and playing at our top level.

"I did watch (Chelsea’s) game against Manchester City, who did a lot of good things that hopefully we can repeat.

"Chelsea at home in a European tie against most teams would be favourites. There is a lot of experienced heads in their team. They can cope with two defeats. But we are not here just to watch them play."