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Lampard 'available' for City against Chelsea

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Shaun Botterill

Earlier this summer, when it became obvious that Chelsea were set to let Frank Lampard leave, we heard that he wouldn't be playing for another Premier League club. Then, when he signed for New York only to be loaned back to Manchester City, we heard that he'd ask not to be selected against Chelsea. And now it turns out -- if you believe the Telegraph, that is -- that he's in contention to be selected against us after all.

Which is, well, kind of weird. But Lampard has earned the right to do more or less whatever he likes, and I'm certainly not going to begrudge him for wanting to play as much football as possible. Nor am I silly enough to assume that Manuel Pellegrini would bring in an experienced midfielder on loan and then allow him to dictate which games he plays. But despite all that there's sure to be an emotional response should we see the legend himself wearing the wrong shade of blue at the Etihad this weekend.

That said, it'd also be great news for us. Pellegrini tried using Lampard against Arsenal in the 2-2 draw last weekend, and it didn't work out at all. The midfield was ponderous and easy to attack, and at halftime the 36-year-old was hauled off (admittedly with City holding a 1-0 lead) and James Milner dropped into the pivot to replace him. City have two huge games coming up -- Bayern away and then Chelsea at home is nobody's idea of a picnic, and I'd have to imagine that the Lampard experiment was an attempt to keep the real midfield of Yaya Touré and Fernando(inho) rested for the bigger games.

So, despite the fact that it would be extremely odd to see us face off against Lampard on Sunday, if it does happen something has gone wrong for Manchester City. And while I bear no rancour towards that club, when it comes to this weekend I would quite like more or less everything to go wrong for them.