Terry and Lampard face final on bench

Avram Grant is considering leaving both Frank Lampard and John Terry out of his starting line-up for Sunday's Carling Cup final against Tottenham Hotspur. Both players, who have only recently returned from injury, are understood to privately fear they will be excluded but if the Chelsea manager goes ahead with his plan it will be a remarkably bold move drawing a line under the Jose Mourinho era of "untouchables".

Neither the Chelsea captain nor vice-captain started Tuesday's Champions League draw at Olympiakos – although Lampard came on in the final minutes. Chelsea remain favourites to win the tie, and Grant may regard the result as a vindication of his selection, even if he will be concerned at his team's lack of bite.

That may ultimately influence whether or not he starts with Terry and Lampard but certainly the thinking prior to the trip to Greece was for both to sit out the Wembley final because Grant does not believe they have returned to full fitness. Terry has played just once since breaking bones in his foot against Arsenal in December while Lampard has looked short of fitness following his return from a thigh injury.

It could be that, more significantly, Grant is making his own mark on the Chelsea team and it was intriguing after Tuesday's match to hear him refuse to give guarantees to players regarded as automatic choices under Mourinho.

At the same time Michael Ballack has increasingly looked to be Grant's most relied upon midfielder and Lampard spoke of his frustration at being left on the bench.

"I don't want to miss any more games," he said. "We understood the reasons for not playing. You have to be mature as a professional and understand that, but it doesn't mean you can't be frustrated and want to play football, as that's what the manager would expect.

"It was OK on the bench. I played the other day and there's a lot of games to come. It's a long season and there are a lot of important games to come."

Lampard also admitted that he is not a fan of rotation – which Grant has implied he will employ for the rest of the season. "It's important we get a settled team in the run-in," the midfielder said.

"Any good team I've been involved in has had a pretty settled line-up, and it'll be down to the manager to find that. Me and John are going to be fresh anyway and a Cup final against Tottenham is always a game that you are going to be very excited about."

Chelsea will reveal their annual financial results today and intend to use the occasion to announce their support for the embattled Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore. Having gone public with his plans for an international 39th game in January 2011, Scudamore has born the brunt of scepticism from the public, media and government.

Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders