The second round of the Champions League has kicked off, with the excitement of Europe’s biggest prize captivating fans and players alike. The Mirror caught up with Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard, on Wednesday, where he discussed about his objectives for the season. The England international was asked about his goal for the season and was quoted as saying: “I
Chelsea this season, have endured their worst run of form in the league and currently sit in fifth place. Many fans are now starting to worry, (as they still have to face Manchester United twice before the season ends) that they could fall outside Champions League qualification. However, the 32-year-old believes that good performances in Europe, will involuntarily improve performances domestically. “If you’re winning in Europe, that form can be carried into the league,” said Lampard.
One thing that is for certain is that Chelsea have lost their grip on the title race. With Carlo Ancelotti himself admitting that the objective is now a top four finish, it is quite clear where the Blues see themselves this season. But just because Chelsea is no longer in competition for the Premier League title, does not mean that United are favourites to win it, according to Ray Wilkins. The former Chelsea No 2 predicts that Arsenal may be the unlikely team to end up winning the league.
Wilkins told the media: “If Chelsea can’t win the Barclays Premier League then I’d like Manchester United to win it, but Chelsea can actually win the title for Arsenal. They play Manchester United twice, they could stave off Man City by beating them and actually win the championship for Arsenal.”
The league will be the last thing on Chelsea’s mind this weekend however, as they gear up to face Everton at home in the FA Cup. The Toffees have proved to be a formidable opponent and Chelsea will be looking to overcome them using their home advantage. The last meeting between these two sides resulted in a 1-1 draw, in which Salomon Kalou rescued the Blues with a second half equalizer. Fernando Torres will not be available for the match as he is cup tied, (having already played the FA Cup for Liverpool) which means Didier Drogba will return to the starting line-up. Another player we could see back in action is Jose Bosingwa, who was not involved in the Fulham game due to a knee problem. The Portuguese returned to training on Thursday, according to Chelsea TV.
As Chelsea prepare themselves for a tough encounter, they could very well line-up their first choice players despite the fact they played on Monday. With a formation of 4-3-3 they could set-up as follows:
Cech; Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Essien, Lampard; Malouda, Drogba, Anelka