x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Ancelotti has no issues over set-piece problem

While the Chelsea coach deflects criticism on goalkeeper Petr Cech saying they have scored more goals, the away record needs improvement too.

Carlo Ancelotti has repeatedly had to answer the same question about his Chelsea team this season. Not the secret to the goalscoring prowess of Didier Drogba or, more recently, the leadership skills and mindset of John Terry. It is their trouble defending set-pieces on which the Italian has been quizzed. And it was brought up again yesterday as the league leaders head to Everton tonight to face a side who gave them a difficult time from corners and free kicks at Stamford Bridge in December. The game finished 3-3 and criticism was directed at Petr Cech, the goalkeeper.

"We have conceded some goals from set-pieces, but we scored goals too and won a lot of games," countered Ancelotti. "We won the game against Manchester United with a goal from a set-piece." Improvement is required on their travels too. Chelsea have won just one of their last five away trips. "We didn't change our philosophy when away. But if we want to win the league, we have to win away," said Ancelotti.

For Everton, John Heitinga could move into midfield to allow Philippe Senderos a defensive spot and a chance to thwart Ancelotti, who took him to AC Milan last season on loan from Arsenal. "I was saying before the season that if Chelsea understand him [Ancelotti] straight away then they will have no problems," said Senderos. @Email:akhan@thenational,ae Everton v Chelsea, KO midnight, Showsports Extra