While Chelsea's African contingent partake in this month's African Cup of Nations tournament, Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti has alluded to the stark possibility of altering his famed diamond formation in an attempt to better integrate his fringe players into the first-team set-up.

Ivory Coast duo Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou, together with Nigerian John Mikel Obi, will travel to Angola in preparation for the competition, while Ghana star Michael Essien will not leave until next week upon proper assessments of his injury from team doctors.

Ancelotti this week asserted that his diamond tactic is by no means rigid, and that a flat 4-4-2 could be utilized in the coming matches.

"I think that in some matches, we can change the system," the Italian tactician is quoted to have said by the Ealing Gazette. "We play with the diamond every match, but I think also we can use the wing.

"In some matches, where there is a lot of space in midfield, we can use the wing sometimes. We have [Florent] Malouda who can do that, and also [Daniel] Sturridge who can play there."

January could prove to be a big month for blossoming striker Sturridge. The 20-year-old switched Manchester City for Chelsea last summer, and with Kalou and Drogba absent for the next four weeks, the forward -- who is yet to score in Chelsea colors -- could partner Nicolas Anelka in attack.

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