While John Terry is fit to play, Frank Lampard's recovery from surgery is taking slightly longer than expected and as a result will miss Chelsea's match against West Ham United tomorrow. As you probably know, Terry went into the season nursing a sole hamstring, tweaking it further in the second half against Stoke City after he made a rash challenge on Rory Delap, while Lampard had been suffering from a hernia in the week leading up to that same game. Both players were forced to withdraw from the England side as a result of their injuries, missing 4-0 and 3-1 victories over Bulgaria and Switzerland. Carlo Ancelotti was keen to point out that resting Lampard for the match against the Hammers was merely a precaution:
"These players needed to have a rest because they had a problem, Terry resolved this problem during these two weeks, Lampard after surgery did very well I think because in seven days he was able to train but obviously we want to give him more time to recover 100 percent."
Should Chelsea stick to a 4-3-3, the most obvious replacement for the vice-captain is summer signing Ramires, who's the closest analogue to the Lampard-style box-to-box midfielder in our arsenal. Failing the insertion of the Brazilian, Florent Malouda may drop back into midfield, leaving the door open for Salomon Kalou or even Gael Kakuta to start tomorrow. Ramires is still the best bet, however - it's vital that the team sees what they have, and what better way to find out than throw him into the fray?
In other news, Jose Bosingwa's return to the squad is apparently less than a month away. This probably means he will have a chance to re-impress before Branislav Ivanovic is back to full fitness.