At West London’s Stamford Bridge, Frank Lampard has seen firsthand what it’s like to taste European triumph.
The 44-year-old was a member of the famed 2012 side that defeated Bayern Munich on their home field and he is currently the temporary manager at Stamford Bridge until the end of the current campaign.
More than ten years after that memorable night in Germany, Lampard again has the chance to lead Chelsea to another European championship, although in a caretaker capacity with a more challenging assignment.
Lampard explained, “I believe in football terms, there are practical aspects that are incredibly challenging because our games will be against Real Madrid and, if we can advance, Bayern Munich or Man City.
We can only concentrate on Wednesday’s game and the difficulties it will present. Although I don’t think history has a significant impact, I can appreciate the romantic notion from 2012. We all want to see it again, don’t we?”.
The game on Wednesday at the Bernabeu will be Lampard’s second in charge since joining the team again earlier this month. Even if Chelsea’s weekend loss to Wolves by a score of 1-0 did not go as planned, Lampard still had a fantastic opportunity to observe some of his players and their abilities.
After a rather average performance at Molineux, there may be some changes for the opening leg of the quarterfinal matchup with Real Madrid. Thiago Silva, who has been out since sustaining a knee injury in February’s loss to Tottenham, is one player who may make a comeback.
The 38-year-old, who came back to training with the first team at Cobham on Monday afternoon, may be fit enough to play the Los Blancos in the Spanish capital. Silva is now scheduled to go to Madrid with the rest of the team, but it is still unclear if Lampard will start the Brazilian.
Mason Mount was also back in the gym after missing Saturday’s loss to Wolves due to a reoccurring pelvic issue and was a favourite of Lampard’s during the interim manager’s first go in command at Stamford Bridge, so hopefully we should see more game time from him now that Lampard’s in charge once again.
Another player who was noted working out at the training ground was N’Golo Kante. He took a day off on Saturday to complete his hamstring injury recovery, as the French midfielder had been sidelined for more than seven months due to the injury, and even though he recently played against Aston Villa and Liverpool, Lampard chose to rest him for the weekend match.
Marc Cucurella was chosen as the left-back against the Wolves, while Ben Chilwell warmed the bench. Cucurella failed to make an impression at Molineux, while Chilwell’s recent record has been really impressive.
Chilwell and fellow full-back Reece James must be excellent both offensively and defensively if Chelsea is to gain anything from the immensely challenging upcoming game against the Spanish giants tomorrow evening.