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."
Latest in Sport
A tight game could be in prospect here. Northampton have been keeping things very tight of late and ...
by Gareth Purnell
18 May 2013 02:01 AM
I can’t ever watch games of football or rugby without wistfully wondering what it must be like to be...
by Martin Ayres
16 May 2013 05:10 PM
Since PSG’s exit to Barcelona in the Uefa Champions League quarter-final in April, PSG have been sur...
by Matthew Riding
15 May 2013 02:37 PM
Tears and cheers as David Beckham ends glittering career after helping PSG to final win
England manager Roy Hodgson attacks Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham over tours
Video: Emotional David Beckham leaves the pitch for 'the last time'
Another nail-biting finish for unlucky Tottenham as Arsenal look to secure Champions League place on last day
Boxing: Carl Froch slams fellow Brits for sparring with Mikkel Kessler
- 1 Heading for America? Prepare for the longest US immigration queues ever
- 2 Boxing: Carl Froch slams fellow Brits for sparring with Mikkel Kessler
- 3 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 4 David Cameron goes to war with press over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.