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Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Chelsea face anxious wait over Lampard

ESPN Staff

Chelsea face an anxious wait over the fitness of midfielder Frank Lampard after he lasted just 15 minutes of their Champions League defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk.

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Lampard, 34, was struck down with an ongoing calf problem which has plagued him for much of the season, with the same injury ruling him out of the recent World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland.

The English midfielder will undergo scans on Wednesday, but is expected to miss Sunday's blockbuster clash against Manchester United.

The loss of Lampard ruined manager Roberto Di Matteo's gameplan and the defeat has left Chelsea in danger of becoming the first reigning champions to crash out of the competition in the group stage, and with John Terry currently serving a four match ban for racism, Lampard's absence would leave Chelsea devoid of much needed experience in one of the biggest matchups in the Premier League, which could see Chelsea move seven points clear at the top.

Di Matteo said Lampard showed no signs of discomfort and that the club can only send the player for scans and hope for a positive result.

"It's basically a recurrence of an old injury. He was training with us fine and there were no alarm bells before the game. He was in good condition to play."

Di Matteo admitted the loss of Lampard on Tuesday night threw his masterplan into disarray as Chelsea lost for the first time since their UEFA Super Cup thrashing by Atletico Madrid.

"It's a team that has always shown the character after a defeat and I don't think the previous years should affect the way we are playing this season or where we are this year. We are doing everything we can to prevent that as well. The team is in good physical condition and also we have a good squad, so we'll try to utilise everybody that we can."

Di Matteo admitted that Chelsea must avenge the result in two weeks' time and win their final home game against Nordsjaelland if they are to avoid a shock group stage exit.

"We need to win our two home games remaining, for sure. But certainly, we need to win our home game against Shakhtar. I'm confident, at home, it will be a different game for Shakhtar and we are also very strong at home."

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