The former Arsenal, Real Madrid and Liverpool striker has not made a huge impact since leaving Bolton and had the misfortune of his penalty shoot-out failure handing last season’s Champions League trophy to Manchester United.
The Frenchman has a reputation for being a difficult character and Scolari says he intends to get inside his mind.
He said: “Anelka has looked good in training and will play as centre-forward.
“He played well in the friendly games but he is quiet. If you say ’good morning’ to him he will say ’good morning’ back but if you don’t he won’t say anything because he is quiet.
“I need to work more on his head, on his thinking in the field, because he has good quality.”
Anelka will start the season, which begins at Stamford Bridge tomorrow when Portsmouth are the visitors, as the focal point of the Chelsea attack as Didier Drogba and Andriy Shevchenko are out injured.
Pompey will field an all-England attack in Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe, and Scolari is adamant Harry Redknapp’s side could actually become title contenders this season.
He said: “It won’t only be Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool, not this season. There are three or four other clubs who have good teams, like Tottenham and Portsmouth, who are strong teams.”
Scolari will hand debuts to Portugal internationals Jose Bosingwa and Deco.
Redknapp will be without Sean Davis (hip), Glen Little, Noe Pamarot (both thigh), David Nugent and Linvoy Primus (both groin).