No Drogba or Lampard at Old Trafford?

September 19, 2007

Chelsea could face Manchester United in the biggest game of their season so far without England midfielder Frank Lampard and Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba.

Coach Jose Mourinho confirmed that neither player is expected to be back for Sunday's clash at Old Trafford as Chelsea remain in the grip of a goalscoring crisis.

Mourinho admits he is alarmed by Chelsea's failure to score goals but refused to blame his strikers after unfashionable Rosenborg held the English side to a 1-1 draw in their Champions League opener last night.

Miika Koppinen stunned the home side with a 24th-minute volley but Mourinho's blushes were spared by a second-half leveller from Ukraine striker Andriy Shevchenko.

Lampard (thigh) and Drogba (knee) contributed more than 50 goals last season and Mourinho is bemoaning their absence.

'I am getting no good news from the medical department,' he said. 'I don't think they will be back for Sunday.

'The news is not getting worse but I want them to tell me the players are ready to train. But there is no good news.'

The Portuguese coach was clearly frustrated and alarmed by his team's failure to score more than one goal against the Norwegians even though they created a hatful of opportunities.

Mourinho declared: 'Of course I am alarmed. I am not happy. We cannot score goals.

'I am disappointed but the history of the game was simple, we had 20 chances and scored one goal. So maybe we need 40 chances to score two and 60 to score three.

'Our 20 chances were not enough to score two goals. It is not my strikers it is my team.

'My team played against a team that in my opinion did its game. Like smaller teams do when they visit the better teams, they come here to defend and are organised.

'But Chelsea produced 20 chances and got one in the net. We can speak and speak and speak but we could not score more than one goal. Nobody is happy.'

Mourinho admits that qualifying for the knockout phase will have been made harder by their draw.

He added: 'This was the kind of game you have to win. The kind of game you have to win at home against the weakest team in the group. So it is not a good result.

'But we are not scared of the situation in the Champions League. Maybe it is now more difficult to be first and maybe we need four points against Valencia.

'I don't think it is a drama - for me the drama is that in the last three matches we have dominated games but scored just one single goal.'