Football

Blues will contend - Lampard

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Frank Lampard maintains no matter how much their Barclays Premier League title rivals spend, Chelsea still believe they will be the team to beat next season.

Having enjoyed a rampant start to their campaign last time out, the Blues faltered to allow Manchester United to claim English football's biggest crown.

"Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City have spent fortunes on good quality players, but we are in a bit of a different situation in that we already had a very strong squad," the England midfielder said.

"The manager wants to evaluate what he has got which is understandable and who knows whether we add or change, that is the manager's prerogative, but the great thing we have already is we believe in ourselves as we are."

The Blues, who are close to completing the signing of young Genk goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, are in Malaysia ahead of the Barclays Asia Trophy, which could see them face Aston Villa or Blackburn.

By the time the domestic season kicks off at Stoke, new boss Andre Villas-Boas is expected to have further strengthened his squad, with Tottenham's Luka Modric and Belgian starlet Romelu Lukaku high on his wishlist.

Defending champions Manchester United, would-be successors Manchester City, Liverpool and, following the £11million signing of Ivory Coast forward Gervinho, now even Arsenal have brought in new talent.

Lampard, though, is unconcerned by other clubs' activities, saying:"Whether the manager makes additions or changes or not, I think the squad is very strong to challenge.

"Whether Man United or any other team spends, we still believe in ourselves."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Arsenal
Stoke City
Football
Manchester City
Blackburn Rovers
Chelsea
Premier League
Manchester United
Luka Modric
Aston Villa
Liverpool

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