Clarke felt preparations for the game had gone well despite the disruption of losing Anelka in sad circumstances.
Summer signing Anelka has been granted indefinite compassionate leave following the death of his agent.
Clarke said: "The actual preparation has been okay.
"Nicolas had been injured anyway so he hadn't trained.
"The team I started with was the team I worked with for three days last week. It didn't disrupt us for preparation."
There have been suggestions veteran striker Anelka is considering retirement but Clarke intends to give the player time to think carefully about the situation.
He said: "We will wait until Nicolas indicates to us he wants to sit down and have a chat. That is the best way."
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