Nicolas Anelka admits Chelsea miss Didier Drogba when the Ivory Coast striker is out of the side.
Drogba was on Monday undergoing further assessment on the calf injury that forced him out of Chelsea's 3-0 victory over Tottenham at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
"We miss him when he's not around. We miss his physical impact and things are definitely different without him," said Anelka.
"I usually play behind him, in midfield almost. But against Porto I was up front on my own, not that that's anything new for me as I must have played about 15 games like that last season."
Anelka played his part in helping Chelsea create a new club record of 11 straight wins with victory over Spurs. It left the Blues on top of the Barclays Premier League - three points in front of Manchester United.
Anelka believes he is playing with more freedom in Ancelotti's new diamond system and credits the Italian's laid-back style and rotational policy as being among the reasons for their fabulous start to the new season..
"I am playing more freely now," added Anelka. "I played with that system at Fenerbahce and it allows me to ask for the ball at my feet and to get up front with Didier at the same time.
"That's the position I prefer playing in because I can get more involved in the game. The more I get on the ball, the better I feel and the more I can express."
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