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Italian manager sees Europe as his side's most realistic chance of silverware and hopes to see his players excel in two-legged quarter-final against Premier League leaders

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has conceded it will be difficult to retain the club's league title, but believes that if his players perform against Manchester United then they can end the season with European glory.

A hard-fought 1-1 draw against Stoke City has left the Blues 11 points behind leaders United, and Ancelotti believes that the Champions League – which pits the two sides together in the quarter-finals – represents his team's best chance of silverware this season.

"It is a very important game, obviously, but I think we have to be happy to be involved in this game," said the Italian.

"Everyone is waiting for this game. We want to do our best and want to show our best ability and we know there are 180 minutes to play and we hope to win.

"In the title race we have to close the gap, in the Champions League we are at the same level of the other teams so we have more chance to win.

"It will not be a surprise to play against them, they know us very well and we know them very well.

"We have to play our football and I think we will do better. We will have a very exciting game against United, they are one of the best teams in Europe.

"It was important [at Stoke] to see the team in good condition and without injury so we can prepare well for this next game."

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