Frank Lampard is looking forward to welcoming John Terry back to Chelsea.
The club’s most successful ever captain will return to Stamford Bridge as Aston Villa assistant manager on Wednesday, for the first time since he left the Blues in 2017.
Terry and Lampard were teammates for the best part of 14 years and share a close relationship away from football,
But friendship will be put to one side for 90 minutes as Villa are hoping to build on their impressive 2-2 draw at Manchester United, while Chelsea will not want another home upset after losing 1-0 to West Ham.
It will not be the first time the pair have come up against each other, having previously met in the Championship last season and in the play-off final, which Lampard’s Derby lost to Villa at Wembley.
“I went up against him (Terry) twice last year and have huge respect for the work he’s doing with Dean Smith,” said Lampard.
“It’s about John and the reception he’ll get from the fans – he deserves that moment.”
At his press conference on Tuesday, Lampard discussed other topics aside from Terry’s return, including Chelsea’s appeal against their two-window transfer ban and the latest with Tammy Abraham’s hip injury.
Here are the best bits…
Will Abraham be fit to face Villa?
“We’re giving him every possible chance to be fit. He’s still got some pain in the area of the injury, we’ll make a judgement tomorrow.
“It’s painful for him, so it’s a pain threshold and whether it affects his movements. So I wouldn’t want to commit today.
“He was in good form, and with players that are important you want to give them as much time.
“He’s keen and we’re trying our best to give him time, but if he’s not ready we have to go in a different route anyway.”
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Will Ross Barkley return after recently showing ‘lack of professionalism’?
“Ross Barkley has been sick, he was ill Sunday night. He is in this morning but not recovered enough to be available tomorrow.
“He has been training well. That has never been a huge issue and now he has to keep that level and push that level and compete for a place. That is up to Ross now.”
When will Antonio Rudiger be fit?
“Rudiger is close, he’s really stepped up his training, particularly in the last week. So we’re hoping he’ll be available in the next week to ten days.”
On John Terry’s return
“Well it’s not much different for me, I went up against him twice last year.
“We obviously get on very well and I’ve got huge respect for him and the work he and Dean Smith have done there with Aston Villa.
“So I think it’s more about John, and the reception he’ll quite rightly get from the Chelsea fans; the most decorated captain, the greatest captain who won everything.
“He feels the club, everyone knows that, and I’m sure the fans will certainly show their appreciation.
“I’m sure it will be pretty emotional for John, and he deserves that moment. And I’ll certainly be pleased to see his face back at the Bridge.
“I spoke to him last week and we had a conversation. We are pretty regularly in conversation but we are both focused on our roles.
“He is working hard there to get results, as are we here. It will be nice to catch up.”
When will the Court of Arbitration for Sport announce its decision on Chelsea’s appeal against transfer ban?
“I haven’t heard any more. So I would wait and reserve judgement until we get the judgement and see where we want to go from there.
“Very soon I believe [the decision will come]. Days, I think.”