Gullit plays it cool

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The Independent Online
Ruud Gullit is doing his best to play down pre-match talk that Chelsea's game with Middlesbrough tonight is a showdown between Fabrizio Ravanelli and Gianluca Vialli.

The two Italians, who helped Juventus win the European Cup, meet in a keenly anticipated head-to-head at Stamford Bridge. But Gullit, the Chelsea player-manager, has emphasised that there will be 20 other players on the pitch.

He said: "Of course it is exciting for the fans to have players like these on the same pitch. But it is not just about one player, whether it is Ravanelli or Vialli. It is up to us to show our skills in stopping Ravanelli scoring."

Ravanelli had a sensational debut, scoring a hat-trick against Liverpool, while Vialli got no closer than hitting the post in Chelsea's goalless draw at Southampton.

Gullit said: "We have to play better than we did on Sunday. We have had a team meeting where I told the players what I thought and they told me what they thought."

Vialli admitted that he is still short of full match fitness but said: "I am looking forward to seeing Ravanelli and congratulating him on his hat-trick - I just hope he doesn't do it against us."

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