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Chelsea boss Ancelotti admits festive programme tougher than expected

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti admits their festive programme looks a lot tougher than first expected.

The Blues were held 0-0 at Birmingham City on Saturday.

"Birmingham and Fulham, at this moment, are in very good condition and I expect a tough game on Monday for sure, just like today," said Ancelotti.

"Anelka and Essien are important players for us because they have a lot of quality but they are out and we have to find other solutions.

"I think we have a very good squad and we will find a different solution."

While it is traditional for managers to complain of fixture congestion at this time of year, Ancelotti - who is currently enjoying his first English winter - has no real problem with the games coming thick and fast.

He added: "It is not easy to prepare for a game every two or three days but it is not only our problem, it is a problem for every team. So we are all in the same situation."

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