Frank Lampard admits the Premier League has been ‘unpredictable’ in the opening weeks of the season but says Chelsea will take Manchester United ‘at face value’ this weekend.
Chelsea travel to face Manchester United tomorrow evening with both sides having endured indifferent starts to a fascinating season to date, the west London side having struggled for consistency so far and squandered a two-goal lead to draw with Southampton last weekend.
This weekend’s opponents have also blown hot and cold and have lost both of their home league fixtures so far, though responded well with impressive victories at Newcastle and Paris Saint-Germain over the past week.
Despite the unpredictable nature of the campaign so far, Lampard is anticipating a difficult encounter against a ‘very good side’, and will be hoping his side can improve their recent record against United having lost three of the four meetings between the sides last season.
“I think the league is unpredictable,” Lampard said at his pre-match press conference. “You could analyse Manchester United or talk about games where big teams have conceded goals or been part of turnarounds, we’ve been part of them.
“Manchester United are a very good side, we played them enough last season to know that.
“I’m not concerned about [the] games before, we will take them at face value.”
Lampard confirmed that Thiago Silva and Christian Pulisic are fit to return at Old Trafford, revaling his squad are close to a ‘clean bill of health’ with just goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and teenager Billy Gilmour sidelined at present.
However, Kepa’s injury will not result in a recall to the squad for Petr Cech, the 38-year-old surprisingly registered in Chelsea’s Premier League squad this week as emergency cover, over a year after announcing his retirement from the game.
“Both (Silva and Pulisic) are fine. We have a clean bill of health apart from Kepa who has a shoulder issue so won’t travel to Manchester, only other player out s Billy Gilmour who is long-term,” says Lampard.
“Petr Cech is not coming. Not in that capacity which you’re getting at!”
See also – Manchester United v Chelsea – Match Preview