Lampard to sit out Sparta tie

by Michelle Fortune , 20 February 2013

Frank Lampard will play no part in Chelsea's Europa League game against Sparta Prague on Thursday.

Rafael Benitez has decided to omit Lampard from his squad for the last 32 second leg tie at Stamford Brigde in a bid to keep him fresh for Sunday's Premier League meeting with Manchester City.

“He will not be in the squad tomorrow. We have to manage him a little bit with an eye on the other games," Benitez told reporters on Wednesday.

“We want to manage the squad. It is important to have these type of players because they are good professionals. It is important to be fit and to train properly, and he is doing that.”

Lampard's contract with Chelsea is due to expire at the end of the season and, as things stand, he will be moving on in the summer.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding his future Lampard has been able to continue giving 100% for Chelsea and team-mate Gary Cahill has paid tribute to the England international.

“The type of guy he is and the professional he is, and I think you can see from his performances, that it is not really affecting him. It will be great if Frank is around but, at the minute, we have just got this season to concentrate on," Cahill explained.

“I don’t think it is affecting him one bit and that is the most important thing for us moving forward. It is a decision for the club, it is not something us players can get involved in.

“He is a phenomenal player and he is in great form for us at the moment. He works hard on his game and it is no shock that has consistently scored over ten goals a season for the last ten seasons. I hope that continues.”

Branislav Ivanovic will also be rested, while Demba Ba will sit out the match because he is cup-tied after featuring for Newcastle before his move to Chelsea.


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