Belfast Telegraph

Ancelotti confirms Lampard absence

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that England midfielder Frank Lampard will miss Tuesday's Champions League clash against Marseille at Stamford Bridge and England's next Euro 2012 qualifier.

Lampard will be absent from England's clash against Montenegro at Wembley next month after Ancelotti insisted that the player needs more time to recover from hernia surgery. The 32-year-old midfielder has now been absent for a month and Ancelotti maintained that he would not be in contention for a return to action until after the international break.

"Frank cannot play Tuesday," said Ancelotti.

"We need to have more time than we expected for his rest. He will be ready for the next game after the international break. He has not played for us so he will not be able to play for the national team."

Chelsea suffered their first defeat of the season against Manchester City thanks to a Carlos Tevez winner at Eastlands on Saturday lunchtime but Ancelotti remains largely unconcerned.

Luckily, results elsewhere in the Barclays Premier League worked in Chelsea's favour as the Blues still have a three-point lead at the top of the table.

"I was surprised by the result of Arsenal, they lost against West Brom at home," conceded Ancelotti.

"It was a strange result. I said before Saturday that it would be very difficult to be unbeaten during the season because it is very competitive here. So for this reason, we are not so upset to lose our unbeaten record, but we have to look forward. It will not be the last time we lose a game.

"I don't ask my players for a reaction. We have to play our football and pay attention. Marseille will look to get three points from this game because they lost the first one.

"Marseille are a good team. They play attacking football and they are quick. My players will know everything about our opponents but the main thing is our own game. We have to stay in focus. If we play at our best, we can win."


From Belfast Telegraph