Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti is fully aware of the importance of the clash against Manchester United.
The Blues sit 15 points off the Barclays Premier League leaders with a game in hand, and whilst the Italian suggested the title might not be within reach a victory could prove to be a pivotal moment in the season.
"It’s a very important game for them, for us, for the future of Manchester United and the future of Chelsea," said Ancelotti in his pre-match press conference.
"For us, it’s important to win, not just for the result but to improve our confidence after the victory at Copenhagen, where we played very well."
Controversy has surrounded the clash from the beginning, with the Stamford Bridge outfit forced to postpone the match over 24 hours in advance back in December.
The Ashley Cole 'shooting' saga and Wayne Rooney avoiding punishment for an apparent elbow on James McCarthy have added additional spice, but the Chelsea boss is focused on providing a stern test to their bitter rivals.
"We are not mathematically out but we need also to be honest. United can decide their own destiny. Our aim is different. Our aim is still to compete with them," the former AC Milan boss continued.
"It would be difficult for us to close the gap. Arriving in the top four is our aim. They’ve only lost one league game and are playing focused, concentrated. That’s why they’re top."
The pair are set to meet at 7:45pm tonight, with the Red Devils looking for their first victory at Stamford Bridge since 2002. Sir Alex Ferguson's men start as slight outsiders with most bookmakers, but a victory against Chelsea would be a huge step towards the title for Manchester United.
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