Ashley Cole is relishing the prospect of facing former
Chelsea team-mate Frank Lampard when Roma visit Manchester City in the UEFA
Champions League on Tuesday.
The two players both left the Blues in the off-season
following eight years together at Stamford Bridge, with Cole making the switch
to Serie A, while Lampard joined New York City in the Major Soccer League,
although he is currently on loan at City.
The Giallorossi defender admits he never envisioned doing
battle against his compatriot, having lasted played in the same team just a few
Cole is also expected to line up against former England
team-mate Joe Hart, and the 33-year-old is looking forward to the reunion.
Speaking at a pre-match press conference ahead of the
midweek tie at the Etihad, he said: "It'll be nice to see people like Joe
Hart and Lamps [Frank Lampard] - I never expected to play against him.”
"Everyone knows what Lampard brings to any team - he's
a great experienced player who scores goals.”
"He even scored against Chelsea - they probably didn't
like that and probably a little bit disappointing for him to score as well. But
he's a professional and he has to do a job and that is scoring goals.”
"I don't think Chelsea were wrong [to let us go] - a decision
was made, I'm fine with it. I had eight great years there and I am really
enjoying a new challenge. I'm loving Italy."
Rudi Garcia's side kicked off their Champions League
campaign with a comfortable 5-1 win over CSKA Moscow a fortnight ago, while the
Citizens lost 1-0 to Bayern Munich in their Group E opener.
Cole believes the Premier League champions could be staring
at another early exit from the competition if the Italians can come away from
Eastlands with victory in midweek.
He said: "If we win it will make it more difficult for
them to catch up and will probably make us top of the group and in good stead
for us qualifying - but it's going to be a tough game and we don't want to look
too far ahead."