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Pep praises ‘perfect’ Lampard ahead of Man City’s crunch clash with Chelsea

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola praised the impact of Frank Lampard at Chelsea ahead of his side’s meeting with the in-form Blues this weekend.

The Premier League champions host Lampard’s charges at the Etihad on Saturday evening, with just one point and one place separating the two sides ahead of a crunch clash in the race for a top four finish.

Lampard took charge at Stamford Bridge during the summer and has overseen a strong start to the new season, while the Chelsea boss has also received plaudits for his integration of the club’s best young talent.

The likes of Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount have thrived since being handed an opportunity in the first-team under Lampard, and Guardiola has been left impressed by this his counterparts exploits so far.

“He has been a manager for a year and a half and I am a little longer because I am a little older but he has his future in his hands.

“From my experience, experience doesn’t count much. I would say that when you know the club it is a good advantage and Lampard knows Chelsea perfectly and everything behind the scenes – media, fans, players – so that is good.”

City’s defeat at Liverpool before the international break left the champions nine points adrift of the league leaders, with Leicester and Chelsea leapfrogging Guardiola’s fourth-placed side, each sitting just one point ahead of Manchester City.

Chelsea have won each of their past six league fixtures to surprisingly emerge as potential title contenders, though Guardiola insists there is still a long way to go in this season’s title race as both sides look to bridge the gap to leaders Liverpool.

“A few weeks ago there were two contenders and now we have four so maybe there will be six in a few days.

“We are in November, there is a long way to play.”

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