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."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future