FA Cup semi-finals: Frank Lampard braced for being dropped at Wembley against Manchester City


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The Independent Football

Frank Lampard has recorded a lot of landmarks in his Chelsea career, but he is worried about setting a new first in the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City tomorrow.

Whenever Chelsea have played at Wembley Stadium since it reopened in 2007, he has always been one of the first names on the team-sheet.

What makes this so special is the fact Chelsea have appeared at the venue 11 times over the past six years, earning a quartet of FA Cups in the process.

Barring the Community Shield, the only significant defeat Lampard has experienced was in the 2008 League Cup final against Tottenham, yet he could be left just as down as that day if he is on the bench tomorrow.

Rafael Benitez’s rotation policy has started to involve Lampard much more regularly of late. And, after playing 90 minutes in Chelsea’s 3-2 Europa League defeat to Rubin Kazan in Moscow on Thursday night, he is fully aware his 100 per cent starting record at Wembley is at risk.

His tension was obvious as he fielded questions on the matter ahead of the game, saying: “We all know I’m not sure I’ll be playing on Sunday.

“I’ve been lucky to have played in a lot of great finals for Chelsea – at Wembley and elsewhere.

“‘Automatic selection’ is only how you play, and what manager you have, and the relationships.

“I don’t think anyone is an automatic selection with the manager at the minute, as we see because there are lots of games and he’s changing it regularly. I’m like everyone else: I want to play every game, but it’s not possible.”