Gianfranco Zola says it is “no surprise” to see Frank Lampard doing well in management, as Chelsea prepare to host Derby in the Carabao Cup fourth round on Wednesday.
Lampard – who scored a club-record 211 goals in 648 games for Chelsea – will be in the opposition dugout at Stamford Bridge, live on Sky Sports Football.
Chelsea vs Derby
October 31, 2018, 7:00pm
Derby saw off Manchester United on penalties in the previous round of the competition, and are currently sixth in the Sky Bet Championship after four defeats in 15 games.
Chelsea assistant boss Zola, who played with Lampard during his time in England, says the former midfielder has always shown managerial qualities.
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He said: “It’s no surprise for me he is doing well in his new role in football because he’s always had a great attitude towards the game and towards what has to be done to become good in this game.”
Asked whether Zola identified Lampard’s management potential when he was playing alongside him, the Italian added: “I think you can understand when somebody has a future in this position because to succeed as a coach you really need the ability to spend a lot of time thinking over things. Frank has always had this ability.
“As a player he had a lot of physicality and technicality, but he spent a lot of energies on football, on and off the pitch.”
Zola says he and Chelsea are pleased to see the Derby County boss returning to Stamford Bridge for the game.
“We are pleased to welcome him, he’s a legend of the club, he has done so much for the club. We wish he continues to do well as a coach,” added Zola.
Forward Eden Hazard is expected to be missing with a back problem, but could return for this weekend’s Super Sunday clash with Crystal Palace – live on Sky Sports Premier League.
Winger Pedro (illness) and striker Olivier Giroud (leg) are doubtful for the Carabao Cup tie, while Ethan Ampadu (knee) has returned to training but is unlikely to feature.
The big news as far as Derby are concerned is Chelsea loanees Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori are available for selection. Chelsea have given Derby special permission allowing the youngsters to play against their parent club on Wednesday.
- Chelsea and Derby last met in December 2014 in the League Cup quarter-final, with the Blues winning 3-1 at Pride Park.
- Derby have lost each of their last eight away matches against Chelsea, all in league competition between 1990 and 2008.
- Chelsea have scored in each of their last 22 matches against Derby, a run stretching back to January 1988 – the last Rams goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet against them was Peter Shilton in November 1987.
- Chelsea have progressed from 18 of their last 19 League Cup ties against non-Premier League opponents – the exception was a fourth round exit on penalties against Burnley in 2008-09 after a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.
- Derby, who eliminated Man Utd in the last round, haven’t knocked out two top-flight sides in a single League Cup campaign since 1968-69 under Brian Clough, when they knocked out Chelsea and Everton.
- In the Premier League era, only one team has ever eliminated both Chelsea and Manchester United in a single League Cup campaign – Sunderland did so in 2013-14 on their way to reaching the final.
- As a player, Frank Lampard didn’t end on the losing side in any of his last 19 matches
It’ll be an emotional return for Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge but only to a certain point as he’s got a job to do and he’s the kind of guy that’ll be as professional as you can be. He’ll be solely focused on getting another big result here, don’t you worry about that.
He’s got some great youngsters there like Mason Mount from Chelsea, who can play against his own team, and Harry Wilson from Liverpool, but I think this one is just a step too far for them with the likes of Olivier Giroud and Cesc Fabregas getting a run out.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 2-0 (11/2 with Sky Bet)
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