English Premiership

Lampard return boosts Chelsea

2009-11-28 07:54
Frank Lampard (file)

London - Chelsea will be at full strength for Sunday's showdown with Arsenal, manager Carlo Ancelotti said Friday after confirming that Frank Lampard had completed his recovery from a thigh muscle tear.

The Premier League leaders travel to north London knowing that a win over a depleted Arsenal squad would extend their advantage over Arsene Wenger's men to 11 points.

Even with a game in hand, Arsenal would struggle to close that gap but Ancelotti insists they will remain a threat even if his side take all three points on offer at the Emirates.

"This is not a decisive match for Chelsea or for Arsenal," the Italian said. "It's an important match. Arsenal will want to win the game, and Chelsea also, but it's not decisive for the title.

"It would be 11 points if we won, but Arsenal would have a game in hand. It's not so important for the title.

"But it is a very important game because Arsenal are one of the most important teams in England and Europe.

"They're playing very well. I like their style - they try to play and attack to create difficulties for the other teams. It will be a very good test for us."

Ancelotti is aiming to complete a clean sweep of wins over the other members of English football's big four having already masterminded victories over Liverpool and Manchester United in his first season in charge at Chelsea.

But he does not regard Premier League summit meetings as necessarily the key to the title battle.

"We want to win to try to improve our position, that's all, not send a message. When you play against a strong team like Arsenal or Manchester United, it's an important test. This is an important test for us, but nobody else."

Arsenal are widely regarded as being vulnerable to Chelsea's physical power, epitomised by the muscular threat of Didier Drogba.

But Ancelotti argued that Arsenal have proved themselves equally adept at picking up goals from set pieces and said the match was likely to be decided by the battle for ascendancy in midfield.

"Arsenal have very good midfielders who we have to control," he said. "This can be a difficult match for us if Arsenal keep control of midfield."

Lampard's availability could have an impact in that area, the midfielder having recovered ahead of schedule from the thigh injury he suffered while training with England in Qatar last month.

"He trained for the last two days and did very well," Ancelotti reported. "He's a tremendous professional, he has worked incredibly hard for many, many hours and he is in good condition."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

Wits send FS Stars packing

2014-11-22 23:00

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

 

3 sports games you have to watch this weekend

Whether it’s date night or a braai with buddies, plan around these three exciting sporting games!

 
 

Men24.com

Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro
Hottie of the day: Colette
Fixtures
23 November 2014
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 15:30
Hull City v Tottenham Hotspur, The KC Stadium 18:00
24 November 2014
Aston Villa v Southampton, Villa Park 22:00
29 November 2014
West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal, The Hawthorns 14:45
Liverpool v Stoke City, Anfield 17:00
West Ham United v Newcastle United, Boleyn Ground 17:00
Swansea City v Crystal Palace, Liberty Stadium 17:00
Queens Park Rangers v Leicester City, Loftus Road Stadium 17:00
Manchester United v Hull City, Old Trafford 17:00
Burnley v Aston Villa, Turf Moor 17:00
Sunderland v Chelsea, Stadium of Light 19:30
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

How long will Mario Balotelli last at Liverpool?

 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.