Chelsea have nothing to fear from Ronaldo, claims Lampard

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The Independent Football

Frank Lampard is confident of establishing a nine-point lead over Manchester United in the Premier League this weekend and insists his team-mates have nothing to fear if Cristiano Ronaldo is fit to play.

Lampard would rather face a full-strength United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, with morale high this week after seven goals in the victories over Manchester City and Bordeaux.

Ronaldo, the Professional Football Association's Player of the Year after inspiring United's double last season, is edging back from ankle surgery, but Lampard said: "I don't know what the situation is with him and I'm not too concerned really.

"He's probably the best player in the world, having done what he did last season, you can't take that away from him. If they put him back for our game then we'll have to deal with that.

"We're good enough to deal with Manchester United at their strongest, we shouldn't want them weakened. If they are strong they are strong and we still want to beat them."

Luiz Felipe Scolari will also have John Terry available after the Football Association overturned his red card from the Manchester City game last Saturday, a decision that angered United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Chelsea are currently six points ahead of United in the Premier League, with the title tending to go to the team with the best start in recent seasons.

The Chelsea vice-captain feels the difference this season is that there could be other challengers.

He said: "In those days it was us versus them for the league. This year you look at it and Liverpool look stronger and could be challenging, Arsenal as well. It's not a case of us and Manchester United."

The midfielder continued: "We're confident anyway. It's a game that everyone gets up for regardless of the circumstances. It's nice to go into it with a few goals in the last couple of games we've played. We've got a few days to recover and we'll certainly be ready."