Lampard boost for struggling Blues
Frank Lampard looks set to start Chelsea's crunch Barclays Premier League game against Manchester United after coming through a practice match unscathed.
England midfielder Lampard completed what was a 60-minute game at the club's Cobham training ground, which involved players from the reserve and youth teams.
The 32-year-old made a surprise comeback after three-and-a-half months on the sidelines in Sunday's 1-1 draw at Tottenham, playing the final 12 minutes at White Hart Lane. Manager Carlo Ancelotti revealed after the game that Lampard would start against United this weekend providing he suffered no reaction in Thursday's training match.
His return from injury is a huge boost to the faltering champions, who are on their worst run in the league for more than a decade after failing to win any of their last five games.
They have slipped from first to fourth and are three points behind United having played a game more.
Lampard's absence has also forced Ancelotti to throw summer signing Ramires in at the deep end.
The Brazil midfielder has struggled to make an impact since becoming the Blues' only big-money buy during the last transfer window. After an outstanding performance against Arsenal in October, the 23-year-old looked to have found his feet but he was unable to rediscover that form until impressing at Tottenham on Sunday.
That has given him the confidence to declare he is finally beginning to demonstrate why Chelsea paid Benfica a reported £18.3million for his services.
"I feel good, I feel better all the time and I think I am more adapted than I was before, and starting to show the football I played at my previous clubs," he told his club's official website, www.chelseafc.com.
"I am working harder and harder to show that I am more at home in England."