And although Shevchenko, who has still been troubled by a groin injury, has scored only once for Milan in his second spell with them and appeared for a total of only 128 minutes, Ancelotti insists: "He is still one of the best strikers in the world.

"He will start against Portsmouth and I'm hopeful he will play a great game. He has worked very hard getting fit."

Ancelotti took a swipe at Chelsea's treatment of Shevchenko even though he conceded they paid the right market price for him

He said: "Chelsea always play with just one central striker and two wingers so Shevchenko was never going to take (Didier) Drogba's place in that system.

"But they bought a high-quality striker and I don't think he was allowed to express himself to the full. The money they paid was good value at the time."

Ancelotti confirmed Brazilian ace Kaka, who is suspended for Sunday's Serie A clash with Genoa, will start alongside Shevchenko against Pompey and that former Arsenal pair, centre-back Philippe Senderos and Mathieu Flamini, will also be in the line-up.

But Ronaldinho will be on the substitutes' bench - from where he came on to hit an 89th-minute winner against Portugal's Sporting Braga in the UEFA Cup last month.

That was their second win, having beaten Heerenveen 3-1 in Holland and Ancelotti, who has left veteran skipper Paolo Maldini resting back in Milan, said: "We are confident we can seal qualification for the next round here."

Pompey, having crashed 3-0 in Braga in their only previous Group E match, already face a tough fight to finish in the top three of the five-team second-round section and reach the last 32 knockout stage - especially as stars like Jermain Defoe, Lassana Diarra, Niko Kranjcar and skipper Sol Campbell are all out tomorrow night through injuries.

But Ancelotti conceded: "We know all about Portsmouth and they are a strong side at home. They will also have the crowd behind them which will be very beneficial but we have travelled everywhere and I believe we will not be intimidated."

"The dressing rooms at Portsmouth may be small and the stadium a little old-fashioned English ground but the pitch is in good condition and when it comes to scoring goals that is what is important."