Drogba set to be unleashed on Town

DIDIER Drogba is all set to be unleashed on the Ipswich Town defence this weekend.

By Adrian Curtis and Dave Gooderham

DIDIER Drogba is all set to be unleashed on the Ipswich Town defence this weekend.

Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari has not ruled out an FA Cup return for Ivorian striker having left Drogba out of his squad for their last two games - an FA Cup replay win over Southend and a Barclays Premier League success against Stoke.

Scolari's decision has sparked renewed speculation over the future of the big target man, but the coach insists nothing out of the ordinary should be read into recent squad selections.

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"It's a normal situation in the club because it is only a situation where for these two games I chose other players," said Scolari.

"But maybe for next week Didier is together with the squad for the game against Ipswich. He doesn't have a problem with me and with the club.

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"He is training very well and starting to build his condition again, not only his fitness but his technique too.''

Captain John Terry is due to return to training today after sustaining a back injury in the pre-match warm-up against Stoke.

Meanwhile football presenter Ray Stubbs has called on Ipswich Town to recreate the spirit of last season's FA Cup giantkillers Barnsley to have any chance of getting a result at Chelsea.

The Final Score frontman, who played for Tranmere Rovers for five years before moving into media, said there was no reason why Town could not provide the shock of the Fourth Round on Saturday.

Speaking as he launched the Big Skill initiative at West Suffolk College, Bury St Edmunds, Stubbs cited last year's heroics from Barnsley after the Yorkshiremen sensationally knocked out Chelsea and Liverpool on their way to the semi-finals of the famous cup competition.

Stubbs told the EADT: “I don't think anyone should be surprised if Ipswich pulled off a shock result. On paper, Chelsea are favourites but as the week goes on, Ipswich should start thinking why not and why can't this happen.

“It is a great opportunity and they should go into the match thinking they could be this year's Barnsley. If they don't go out there with that attitude, I can't see them having a chance.

“But if I was a fan, I would be thinking back to last season and chanting the word Barnsley. There is no reason why Ipswich can't do it.”

Stubbs, who also presented Match of the Day and has covered ten international tournaments for the BBC, said the magic of the cup could work in Ipswich's favour.

He added: “I think this season has already proved that we should not be surprised by anything these days and Ipswich are a team that clearly have a chance on the day if everything works for them.

“Nothing has changed down the years, the F.A. Cup always throws up strange, unusual and fantastic results, and the nearer it comes to kick-off, people will start asking themselves why can't this be Ipswich Town's day?”

Last season, Barnsley enjoyed a fantastic cup run, shocking Premiership giants Liverpool 2-1 at Anfield before arguably eclipsing that feat with a 1-0 win at defending champions Chelsea.

But, having reached the semi-finals for the first time since 1912, they narrowly lost 1-0 to fellow Championship side Cardiff City at Wembley.

(N) SEE Ray Stubbs on video and hear more of his thoughts on the Chelsea/Town clash at www.greenun24.co.uk

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