Derby County manager Frank Lampard

Lampard coy on Chelsea title talk, insists leagues aren’t won in December

Frank Lampard has downplayed talk of a title challenge at Chelsea and insists leagues are not won in December despite the club’s encouraging recent form.

Chelsea currently sit third in the Premier League following a nine-game unbeaten run in the division, two points adrift of both Liverpool and league leaders Tottenham at the top.

The west London side’s unbeaten run in all competitions stretched to 14 games following the midweek draw with Krasnodar in the Champions League, with the club’s summer signings have raised optimism that Chelsea can challenge for major honours this season.

Expectations are rightly high at Stamford Bridge following a recruitment drive that saw the club splash out more than £220m on new talent during the transfer window, though Lampard was coy on title talk ahead of this weekend’s trip to face Everton.

Lampard admits he is ‘happy’ with where Chelsea are at present following their impressive recent run, though insists there is a long way to go before his side can be labelled as contenders despite comments from Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp declaring the Blues as favourites.

“I don’t know. I don’t want to find a play on words. I am happy where we are but I know there is a long way to go. It doesn’t matter too much about the rhetoric,” Lampard told his pre-match press conference.

“Tottenham have a strong squad, but words aren’t important at the moment.

“For us it is about that consistency and working hard, understanding that is what wins titles, not matches up to middle of December.”

Chelsea will be without both Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi for the trip to face former manager Carlo Ancelotti and Everton this weekend, with both players expected to miss around two weeks with hamstring injuries.

Lampard also revealed that Christian Pulisic felt some ‘soreness’ following the weekend win over Leeds, though the US international is expected to feature after remaining an unused substitute in midweek.

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