Frank Lampard expected to start against Manchester United

Frank Lampard today looked 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 league leaders United this weekend providing he suffered no reaction in today'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."

Ramires, who had never left his native Brazil until moving to Portugal last year, claims the language barrier has been a problem for him but revealed his determination to learn English as quickly as possible.

Speaking through an interpreter, he added: "With the language, I am still taking lessons to try and improve my English because, obviously, I want to be more chatty with the rest of the people here and want people to know more about me.

"It is hard sometimes. You don't always understand what you are being told and it is hard for me to express myself, but I am enjoying the lessons and my English is getting better all the time.

"As for life in London, I am settling, I have my family here with me and I am happy, so things are going well and I look forward to fulfilling my contract with Chelsea."

He has also had to adapt to the pace of the Barclays Premier League and to a team that have been without several of their best players for much of the season.

"It is everything I expected," he said.

"I came prepared for the speed and the strength of the Premier League and what I find is that the training sessions at Chelsea are as intense as the matches, so the matches are exactly as I thought they would be.

"Training here is even better, I like the fact that training is intense because that way you prepare for matches as you should do.

"In previous clubs, training was never so intense, but I pushed myself harder so that physically, tactically, I was always ready to play."

Ramires demonstrated his improvement by winning the stoppage-time penalty missed by Didier Drogba at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

"Didier is no villain for missing the penalty,' he said.

"I think we deserved more than we got from that game but now we have to look forward, train hard and make sure we get the results that we want."

News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
News
Field of broken dreams: Andy Bell visits Passchendaele
news5 News's Andy Bell visited the killing fields of the Great War, and his ancestor - known only from his compelling war diary - came to life
Travel
travel
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In my grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel