Drogba starts for Chelsea

Didier Drogba was included in the Chelsea starting line-up for tonight’s Champions League match at Atletico Madrid after serving his three-match European suspension.

Didier Drogba was included in the Chelsea starting line-up for tonight’s Champions League match at Atletico Madrid after serving his three-match European suspension.

Drogba was handed the ban following his foul-mouthed confrontation with Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo at the end of May’s Champions League semi-final exit to Barcelona.

The in-form striker, who has scored nine goals in the Barclays Premier League already this season, has now served his punishment and will lead Chelsea’s attack at the Vicente Calderon Stadium as Carlo Ancelotti’s side seek the win that will guarantee them a place in the last 16.

Also back for the Blues is full-back Ashley Cole, who missed Saturday’s 4-0 win over Bolton due to a knee problem, while his England team-mate Joe Cole also starts.

Michael Ballack drops to the bench as one of six changes to the team that started at the weekend.

The other newcomers are Alex, Juliano Belletti, Salomon Kalou and Florent Malouda, with the men making way Ricardo Carvalho, Branislav Ivanovic, Paulo Ferreira, Deco and Nicolas Anelka.

Atletico Madrid: Sergio Asenjo, Perea, Pablo, Juanito, Antonio Lopez, Reyes, Paulo Assuncao, Cleber Santana, Simao, Sinama Pongolle, Forlan.

Subs: De Gea, Raul Garcia, Jurado, Aguero, Maxi, Ujfalusi, Dominguez.

Chelsea: Cech, Belletti, Alex, Terry, Ashley Cole, Malouda, Essien, Joe Cole, Lampard, Drogba, Kalou.

Subs: Hilario, Ivanovic, Carvalho, Ballack, Deco, Sturridge, Anelka.

Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (Holland)

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