Didier Drogba insists he is loving life at Chelsea as he gets ready to gun down Pompey

Didier Drogba is in contention to start his first game of the season for Chelsea in the Carling Cup at Portsmouth tonight after once more pledging his future to the club.

Drogba has been out of the limelight since being linked with AC Milan over the summer and has missed the early part of Luiz Felipe Scolari's reign with a knee injury.

But after coming off the bench against Manchester United at the weekend, he is now regarded as almost 100 per cent match fit.

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didier drogba

Going nowhere: Drogba is happy playing his football in west London

Scolari is tempted to give Drogba an hour at Fratton Park in a bid to prepare him for Saturday's Premier League clash at Stoke, when the striker's muscle power is certain to be needed.

And the good news for Chelsea fans is that Drogba insists he is happy in west London and no longer thinking of a move away from the club.

He said: 'The club told me they wanted me to stay. As a consequence, I am under contract until 2010 and don't want to fight against that. I always said I was interested in Italian football but I'm under contract with Chelsea.

'I am not staying at Chelsea because I have to but because I want to take up new challenges.

'We learnt a lot from last season and we want to win the title. Winning the double would be beautiful.'

Drogba's wish-list didn't include the Carling Cup but Chelsea have always taken the competition seriously and will do so again tonight.

It was the first trophy won by Jose Mourinho when he first arrived in England and Avram Grant also led Chelsea to the final last year before they were beaten by Tottenham.

But for Drogba it is a chance to finally get back on the pitch and prove his commitment to the cause - although he feels he has already done that through his determination to get fit.


Sidelined: Deco

He said: 'When everyone went away for the pre-season tour, I stayed here to work with the physios. Then when they came back and I saw them play it was hard but I didn't want to push myself to come back because we have a fantastic team. I knew I just needed to focus on getting fit.'

Once he does get on the field, Drogba believes Scolari's style of football is going to suit him down to the ground.

'The way we have started to play this season is much more my game,' he said. 'When I first came here the manager asked me to play in a certain position. He didn't want me to move to the sides, just stay through the middle because we had two fantastic wingers.'

Chelsea go into a difficult tie at Fratton Park without injured Michael Essien, Deco and Ricardo Carvalho and are likely to include reserve teamers Scott Sinclair, Michael Mancienne and Mario Stoch in the squad.

Scolari insists his Chelsea team will have no problems coping without his two Portuguese stars, both of whom could be out for the best part of a month.

Deco has a torn muscle in his upper thigh, while Carvalho has injured medial ligaments in his knee.

Scolari said: 'We lost these two players but it's not a problem because i have other players believe in. put in other players and maybe these players play even better than Deco and Ricardo.'

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