City are title rivals – Ancelotti
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti insists Manchester City are still
in the Premier League title race under fellow Italian Roberto
Ancelotti’s side head into 2010 top of the table but suffered
an inconsistent December, while City recorded back-to-back wins
after appointing Mancini to take over from Mark Hughes.
Sir Alex Ferguson has predicted a two-horse race for the
championship between his Manchester United side and Chelsea, but
Ancelotti said: “A lot of teams will be involved in the fight for
“I think the last results, the result of Manchester City
above all, show they have an opportunity to return to the top four.
“I don’t want to forget Arsenal, I don’t want to forget
Manchester City or any other teams. I don’t know if Arsenal, Aston
Villa, Tottenham or Liverpool can fight for the title, but I know
that to play against them is not easy.
“It’s a very competitive championship, this. Staying at the
top of the list, for us, for six months is a very good situation.
We did a very good job in these six months to maintain this first
place in the league.”
Ancelotti, however, believes Mancini will find it difficult
to attract top players to Eastlands when the January transfer
“I think it’s very difficult to buy top players at this
moment,” he said. “The teams that have top players keep them in
January. That’s normal.”
Ancelotti’s attention turns to the FA Cup this weekend, with
his side hosing Watford on Sunday at Stamford Bridge.
The Chelsea boss has France striker Nicolas Anelka returning
from a calf problem but Didier Drogba, John Mikel Obi and Salomon
Kalou have gone to the African Nations Cup, and Michael Essien will
join them when he recovers from injury.
Ancelotti is still expected to pick a strong team against
“I want to put out my best team,” he said.