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Leboeuf fears Chelsea challenge will fade

Chelsea hero Franck Leboeuf has fears for his old club due to the demands of the African Nations Cup.

Leboeuf, who played over 200 games for the club, insists the heat will be on the Italian coach after Didier Drogba, Michael Essien, Jon Obi Mikel and Salomon Kalou fly out next month.

The ESPN analyst is worried the fab four's departure will loosen Chelsea's stanglehold at the top.

"It is a real worry," said Leboeuf, who left Stamford Bridge eight years ago after winning two FA Cups, one League Cup and a Cup Winners Cup. "That's when we will see the real Ancelotti."

"So far everything has been going well for him. But now four key players will be off and we will see how he does.

"Also, he won't be used to five games in such a short space of time, which is what happens in England at this time of the year. It will be a big test.

"Personally, having met him, I believe he will cope. But we don't know. They are doing really well at the moment, but losing those four will have a huge impact.

"Manchester United are closing in and they always do well at winter time. They and Arsenal won't suffer that kind of loss. He will have to bring in at least two new players in January."

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