Football: Bumpy ride for Chelsea

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The Independent Online
THE CHELSEA defender Franck Leboeuf has warned his team-mates to expect an "awful" pitch in Monaco when they play Real Madrid in tonight's European Super Cup.

The French World Cup winner is annoyed that the Blues are likely to face a surface as bumpy as the one on which they won the Cup-Winners' Cup final last season against VfB Stuttgart in Sweden.

He said: "I will have to say that the pitch will be awful, I know that already. After the Cup-Winners' Cup final in Stockholm, it will be the second time for us so it's a pity we can't play on a good pitch."

The player-manager Gianluca Vialli was less concerned when he heard about the state of the pitch, which lies on top of an underground parking area. He joked: "Really? So we've got a chance, then!"

Either way, the Blues realise they are playing for prestige in a relatively meaningless match which pits them, as Cup-Winners' Cup winners, against the European Cup holders. Their Danish international Brian Laudrup, who last played in the World Cup quarter-final against Brazil, may make his debut.