Chelsea have not lost in over a month, putting together a seven-match winning streak since the end of September. Standing in the way of an eighth win are Manchester United, who come to Stamford Bridge tomorrow for a Round of 16 showdown in the League Cup.
The last time we faced United, things weren’t quite so rosy. We could’ve only dreamed of such a run when the final whistle blew at Old Trafford, with the scoreboard reading 4-0 to the home side.
But that’s all in the past now and irrelevant, or so we hope.
“We’ve said nothing about that [4-0 loss]. It feels like a million miles away. I’m not disregarding it because when you play against a top team like Manchester United, with top players, they can hurt you in moments and they did it to us four times in a game that we performed pretty well in. I don’t think the context of that is going to be hugely relevant tomorrow night.”
One thing that hasn’t changed since the summer is Chelsea’s rather busy medical department, which still counts several key players among its members. And while Lampard did not provide an update on each and every one of them, he did confirm that N’Golo Kante and Antonio Rudiger will miss out again for sure. No news may be good news for Andreas Christensen and Ross Barkley, or maybe not.
Either way, Lampard, like United’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, is expected to rotate heavily after the exertions of the past couple weeks, not to mention to busy 7-10 days ahead before the November international break. The Chelsea boss did confirm that he’s vary of overusing players, even if he does so out of necessity. And he also confirmed that he’s ready to give chances to players who are fit and haven’t been able to feature as much lately.
“I have to be aware of the fact that we haven’t changed the team very much. That’s my prerogative when I think the team is playing pretty well, but this game may be an opportunity for other players who are not playing.
“It’s not necessarily to do with age, more to do with minutes in games and that might mean some of the more experienced players who haven’t played as much will have an opportunity.
“As a player, I wanted to play every game but the beauty of sitting on this side is you do see things slightly differently and you have time to think about the bigger picture. The demands on the players are even more in the modern day so I have to take those things into account but we’re not taking this game lightly even if I make changes - I’ll make them because I believe in the squad being strong throughout.
“If there are players who step out of the line-up with a view to the coming weeks, it will be done with the big picture in mind. I understand how players are and they want to play so we’ll try to have the right conversations and let them know what the position is.
“The [physical] output from the last two games has been really strong for a lot of players so we have to look at that side as well, to take into account rest and strains on the body for the players.”
-Frank Lampard; Source: Chelsea FC
While United are far from their historic best, they were able to stop a perfect Liverpool’s almost Premier League-record win streak with a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, and then follow that up with a 3-1 win over Norwich 3-1 at Carrow Road on Sunday. They will be confident of ruining our Wednesday. Whoever plays must not let that happen!