Sunderland are today’s visitors to fortress Stamford Bridge, for a match in which many of us had hoped to see the return of Frank Lampard.
Sadly it won’t be, as our talismanic midfielder suffered a fresh injury this week in training, straining an adductor muscle, meaning he will be out for another two-three weeks.
Lampard’s last appearance was in the 2-0 win over Stoke City on 28 August, and despite not being in the team, Ancelotti has said he’s still influential even when not playing.
“Lampard is very important on the pitch but also if he is not able to play, he shows fantastic professionalism, when he is injured he stays here at the training ground for seven or eight hours a day. And he usually comes to watch the game and he speaks with the other players in the dressing room before.”
Carlo added; “He was very happy at the start of the week because he started training with us but Thursday was not his best day. It is strange for him to have an injury and maybe he is not so comfortable being injured but sometimes it happens in football and you have to be passionate and look forward. He loves his football and in two or three days he will be able to come back and train and he will be happy.”
Brazilian defender Alex is still on the injured list for today’s match but Nicolas Anelka has recovered from a back injury and will be fit to line up alongside Drogba and Malouda up front. Carlo may however opt for the direct approach of Kalou and keep Anelka on the bench.
The absence of Alex should mean a back four of Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry and Cole, with Mikel, Essien and one of either Zhirkov or Ramires on the left of midfield.
Ivanovic eyes Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan as the one to watch; “He is a good player, has had great performances and is direct looking for goals and very aggressive, working hard for his teams, we will have to be focused and concentrated on him, he is new to English football and wants to show in every game his best.”
He reported; “At the World Cup we played against Ghana, they did better than every other African team, it’s a good team and they played very well against us. We didn’t find a solution for goals against them and then we gave them a penalty late in the game which changed the result. It was a very difficult game, and they showed later how good they were by arriving in the quarter-finals.”
In no doubt that it’ll not be easy, he adds; “The facts show it will be a hard game, they are very well organised on the pitch, so for us what is key for this game is to be strong, and to score if it is possible quickly, then we have to concentrate for the 90 minutes and try to play our game with pace.”
“We have to have more desire to win the game than Sunderland. It will be a tough, physical game for us. Sunderland have some very good players, and they will be good at attacking set-pieces also,” said Ivanovic “It will be difficult because we will have to play like that but we expect three points because it is important before the national team break to win the game.
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