Chelsea suffer Anelka blow

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Football News

Chelsea have been hit by the loss of Nicolas Anelka for around three weeks.

The France striker has been playing with a bruised toe in recent matches and was in the Chelsea side that lost 1-0 to Tottenham on Saturday.

That result all but ended their interest in the Barclays Premier League title race, while on Monday it was announced Anelka has pulled out of the France squad for their World Cup double-header against Lithuania.

Chelsea have yet to confirm how long Anelka will be sidelined for, but Paris St Germain striker Guillaume Hoarau has been called up to replace him by France coach Raymond Domenech.

Anelka is now unlikely to be available for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final against former club Liverpool at Anfield.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Petr Cech believes Chelsea must take advantage of playing the opening leg of their European tie away from home.

The Blues have been drawn to face Liverpool for a fifth successive year and Cech revealed he had a sneaking feeling they would be paired together yet again prior to the draw.

The winners of Chelsea's clash with Liverpool will face either Barcelona or Bayern Munich in the semi-finals.

"I was saying to myself if the irony of fate would work and we would play Barcelona in the quarter-final and then Liverpool in the semis. And it has turned out to be exactly the opposite case," said Cech. "Maybe it is a pity that Liverpool, Barca and Bayern are all teams we have played against in the Champions League recently, on the other hand, they are all teams of top quality, so our fans can be satisfied with the draw.

"Also, and now I am anticipating, if we should succeed in the Champions League, we can then say we have eliminated the giants of European football."

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Tottenham Hotspur
Petr Cech
Nicolas Anelka
Premier League

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