It's no surprise that Chelsea's recent resurgence, which includes three wins in as many games, has coincided with the return to form and fitness of the same spine that helped them win three of the last five Barclays Premier League titles.
Petr Cech's form, patchy towards the start of the season, has greatly improved, John Terry appears to have re-focused on his game after newspaper revelations threatened to derail his career and Didier Drogba looks back to full fitness after a spout of malaria.
But perhaps the most important return is that of Frank Lampard, and while the aforementioned trio have all been present during The Blues' barren spell in the Barclays Premier League, the England midfielder has been on the sidelines since August, unable to contribute.
Now fit and back in the team, Lampard has returned to the unerring form that has seen him score 20 goals in each of the last five
seasons, and his two-goals on Monday night, the difference in Chelsea's 3-1 win over Blackpool, just reaffirms his importance.
On his return, Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti said: "Frank coming back is very important news for us. We don't need to have any heroes; we just need a player who is able to score 20 goals from midfield, as Frank did last year."
Clearly his role in Ancelotti's team can not be underestimated, and as it played out against Manchester United, where his late penalty propelled the Stamford Bridge club back into the title race, and Blackpool, sometimes his impact can be the difference between winning and losing.
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