Frank Lampard admits sympathy for old boss Jose Mourinho as Spurs’ Europa League exploits mean they will have just TWO DAYS to recover before London derby on Sunday – with Chelsea getting an extra 48 hours rest after Rennes clash
- Chelsea welcome London rivals Tottenham to Stamford Bridge on Sunday
- Spurs will have just two days to recover after Europa League tie on Thursday
- Chelsea, meanwhile, will have four days rest time ahead of the crunch clash
Frank Lampard sympathises with Jose Mourinho over the scheduling nightmare that sees Chelsea have two days more than Tottenham to recover for Sunday’s crunch London derby.
But the Blues boss does not expect it to stop Spurs being up for the fight at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea — who face Rennes in the Champions League on Tuesday evening — will leapfrog table-toppers Spurs, in action in the Europa League on Thursday, with a victory this weekend.
Frank Lampard (L) has expressed sympathy for old boss Jose Mourinho for congested schedule
The derby is one of English football’s fiercest, with the relationship between Lampard and Mourinho adding even more spice. But Mourinho is frustrated by Chelsea’s 48 hours extra rest time before the game.
And asked if he felt a level of solidarity with his former manager, Lampard said: ‘Yes. I’m not sure what team Jose can pick for Thursday. He’s got a strong squad and he can make rotations. But if you’re not going to get up ready to attack a London derby, then you shouldn’t be in this game.’
Chelsea could seal their place in the Champions League last 16 with victory in France, which would allow Lampard to rest players in their final two group matches.
‘I’ve looked at the schedule through December and it’s brutal,’ he said.
‘We’re due to play Arsenal on Boxing Day and then Aston Villa two days later. If we were to make it into the next round, it would be an opportunity to look at players who need minutes, or rest players.’
Chelsea will have an extra 48 hours of recovery time ahead of their Premier League clash
Lampard said he would hold talks with Olivier Giroud to resolve his situation in January, but was adamant the France striker would feature in the coming weeks.
Giroud is open to leaving to ensure he stays in Didier Deschamps’ plans for next summer’s Euros.
The 34-year-old scored twice against Sweden last week to take his France tally to 44, behind only Thierry Henry (51) on his country’s list of all-time scorers. But Lampard added: ‘My first thought always has to be the strength of our squad.
‘I will be relying on top players in December. I’ll always be honest with Oli, but I still think he’s got a big contribution to make for us.’