Football

Chelsea boss set to drop Frank Lampard and John Terry

Benitez will look to rotate his squad to avoid fatigue. (©GettyImages)
Benitez will look to rotate his squad to avoid fatigue. (©GettyImages).

Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez has revealed that Frank Lampard and John Terry may be dropped for this afternoon's semi-final after playing a part in their mid-week Europa League match.

Since Roman Abramovich took over at Chelsea in 2003, they have been involved in 34 semi-finals and finals, of which a fully fit and available Frank Lampard and John Terry have never missed a game.

Their latest interim manager looks keen to stamp his mark on the squad, despite Benítez confirming his departure at the end of the season, as Chelsea remain in contention for both the FA Cup and UEFA Europa League. 

Benítez has rotated the starting eleven in all of Chelsea's recent games; during the last month, they have played seven matches in three competitions. Yet, he appears to be taking the tactic a step further on Sunday.

He told reporters: "To leave any player out of the team, especially when they are training and working hard, is quit difficult.

"But it's something you have to do. And you have to explain it to them.

"Some are only OK if they go and will play. Some can't play at the same level two games in a row. You have to make decisions." 

Lampard played a full part in Chelsea's Europa League second leg against Rubin Kazan on Thursday, whilst his midfield partner Ramires was replaced by Jon-Obi Mikel on 60 minutes.

The expectation is that Ramires and John Obi Mikel will resume their holding position roles against Manchester City, with Oscar, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard starting further forward. Terry, meanwhile, was also involved in Moscow, so Benítez is likely to recall Branislav Ivanovic in central defence alongside David Luiz.

The Chelsea boss finds himself constantly explaining his selection decisions with reference to the fixture schedule. 

He said: "I have too many games and we have to use the squad. 

"I think I have done a good job. If we finish in the top three and win one of the trophies or both, I will be really pleased and really proud."

The Blues can potentially play another 12 matches in the season's final five weeks.


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Topics:
Football
Chelsea
FA Cup

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