Saturday, October 3, 2009

Lampard believes Liverpool are their toughest rivals not united

Frank Lampard rates Liverpool as Chelsea's toughest opponents - and not Manchester United.

The Blues have faced the Reds an incredible 30 times since the start of the 2001-02 season when Lamps first arrived from West Ham with Chelsea racking up 12 wins to Liverpool's 10.

There have been some famous victories for Chelsea along the way, including a 4-1 triumph on Merseyside in the Premier League in 2005, a Champions League semi-final win in 2008 and last season's quarter-final success in the same competition.

But there have also been some huge set-backs, including being knocked out of the Champions League semi in 2005 and 2007 and last October's defeat in the league that ended Chelsea's long unbeaten record at Stamford Bridge.

Midfielder Lamps said: "In England, Liverpool are our toughest rivals. They aren't the best team because United have proved they are.

"But Liverpool have a really difficult way of playing. Their defence is very strong and they have a lot of players who press you, even up front."

And to make matters worse for Lamps, he rates his match-up with England sidekick Steven Gerrard as his biggest battle of the season, too.

Lampard, 31, added: "Stevie is the hardest player to play against because he's got everything, he's a complete midfielder and England's stand-out.

"It's a good rivalry because we get on well and I enjoy playing with him for England. Stevie is one of the best players in the England team and in the world, so it's always nice to play with and against great players."

Lampard is used to bagging 20 goals a year for Chelsea but only has one in the league so far.

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