Lampard to miss Spurs clash
Frank Lampard (AFP Photo)
Cobham - Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti admitted on Friday that Frank Lampard will miss his side's crucial London derby at Tottenham this weekend.
Lampard has been sidelined for three months after hernia surgery and a groin injury, but it was suggested this week that he would feature at White Hart Lane on Sunday after returning to training.
However, Ancelotti believes Lampard needs at least one practice match before he is ready for the demands of the Premier League, so he will once again be without the England midfielder for a match his team desperately need to win.
The Blues have slipped to third in the table after taking five points from their last six matches and another loss to Spurs would only increase the pressure on Ancelotti.
Instead, Ancelotti hopes his star midfielder will prove his fitness in a friendly this week and then return to action when Manchester United visit Stamford Bridge next weekend.
"He is not fit again. He is out. I can say this with a smile because he trained well but we think it will be a very tough game against Spurs," Ancelotti told reporters at the club's training ground.
"We didn't have a chance to test him in a game. We have to arrange a game for him, maybe on Thursday, after that he can be available.
"He trained well, he doesn't have a problem to train, but this is a tough game. So he will play a friendly and be ready for the Man Utd game."
Ancelotti will also be without Jose Bosingwa as the Portugal right-back struggles with a torn hamstring, but captain John Terry and left-back Ashley Cole will be fit to start.
England defender Terry came off in the second half of Wednesday's defeat against Marseille to protect an ankle injury, while Cole missed that Champions League tie to rest an ankle problem.
"Terry is ok, Ashley Cole had a problem on his ankle, but he is ok as well. Bosingwa is out with a tear on his hamstring," Ancelotti added.