Cech hoping Drogba continues form

Cech hoping Drogba continues form

Published Feb. 23, 2010 9:23 p.m. ET

Chelsea goes into its Champions League match against Inter Milan on Wednesday in confident mood following a run of form that has allowed it to open a four-point lead over Manchester United in the Premier League.

Carlo Ancelotti's side has won five of its seven league matches since the start of 2010 and is into the quarterfinals of the FA Cup.

Since returning from the African Cup of Nations at the end of January, Didier Drogba has again shown his importance to the side, scoring five times, including both goals in the 2-0 win over title rival Arsenal.

"He has always been one of the best strikers in the world and you can see he doesn't need much to score goals," Chelsea goalkeeper Peter Cech said. "One Saturday he had two and a half chances and scored two goals.

"He is there at the right time," Cech said. "He works hard for the team which is even more important because in a game when you don't play well, you need everyone to fight and run and keep tactically focused."

A week ago Wayne Rooney scored twice at the San Siro in Manchester United's 3-2 win over AC Milan. Rooney is currently the Premier League's leading scorer with 21 goals, with Drogba a place behind on 19.

"Didier is in form," Cech said. "However important Wayne Rooney is for Manchester United, Didier is as important for us."

For Inter coach Jose Mourinho it is the first time that he has met Chelsea in a competitive fixture since leaving the club in acrimonious circumstances in 2007.

During his time at Stamford Bridge the Portuguese won two league titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups, but was unable to land the Champions League that he had won at FC Porto.

"Chelsea doesn't hold any secrets for me," Mourinho said. "It won't be difficult to prepare for this match. Why should we be scared of Chelsea? It is a great team with a lot of world class players, but so are we and we won't be afraid, but respectful. I think actions will speak louder than words. I don't have anything to prove."

Like Mourinho Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti will also be returning to a stadium where he enjoyed great success, as both a player and coach.

Ancelotti was a midfielder in the AC Milan side that won the European Cup in 1989 and 1990, then repeated the success as coach of the club in 2003 and 2007.

However Ancelotti, who also coached Parma and Juventus, has more pressing issues than an emotional return to the San Siro.

"We have some problems with the fullbacks because we have lost Ashley Cole and (Juliano) Belletti," Ancelotti said. "We hope that for the next game (Yury) Zhirkov can play.

"Zhirkov had a problem with his calf, it is tight and (we hope) he can recover in two or three days for the next game. (Ricardo) Carvalho will be ready for Milan, (Frank) Lampard too and we hope Alex will be."