Frank Lampard has denied Chelsea need to make a ‘statement’ against Liverpool this weekend following the club’s lavish summer spending.
Chelsea host Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Sunday in a hugely anticipated clash between two sides expected to challenge this season, with the Blues bidding to close the gap to this weekend’s opponents following their title success last season.
The west London side have invested heavily in several marquee names this summer, spending more than £200m on the likes of Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell and club-record signing Kai Havertz.
Many have suggested that this weekend’s clash is the perfect test of the credentials of Lampard’s new-look and expensively assembled side, though the Chelsea boss insists the game is too early to be classed as a statement of intent ahead of the campaign.
“I don’t feel it’s a game to make a statement, it’s the second game of the season,” Lampard told his pre-match press conference.
“On Monday we were in pre-season zone in terms of fitness. Now we take on the best team in the country last season. It’s a nice challenge. We did pretty well head-to-head with them last year. It’s a challenge to get three points against top opposition.”
The last meeting between the two sides saw Lampard become engaged in a heated confrontation with the Liverpool coaching staff, the Blues boss irked by the behaviour of Jurgen Klopp’s backroom team during Chelsea’s thrilling 5-3 defeat at Anfield.
Lampard admits he is unsure whether that incident will add any extra rivalry between two sides who have regularly competed for honours since the turn of the millennium, or the comments of Klopp in the direction of his side regarding their significant summer spending.
“I don’t know,” Lampard said. “How much do you want to make of it?
“If you’re pushing to be successful… we had it when I was a player. In the Champions League we drew each other a lot.
“In modern terms it’s slightly different because Liverpool are on top of the league and we’re trying to improve. Both squads, clubs and coaches are very driven to win. It’s what the Premier League is all about.”