Amsterdam ArenA, Netherlands

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Lampard won't think about cup lift

Frank Lampard has not discussed whether it will be he or John Terry who lifts the Europa League trophy as he thinks it may jinx Chelsea's chances of success against Benfica.

Chelsea will hope to salvage something from a rollercoaster year at the Amsterdam ArenA.

The Blues won the Champions League on a dramatic night in Munich one year ago but since then they have sacked their manager, appointed an unpopular temporary replacement and they have had to settle for playing in the Europa League rather than continuing to feature at Europe's top table.

Club captain Terry is a major doubt for the game with an ankle injury, meaning Lampard is likely to lead the team out in the Dutch capital.

Terry missed last year's final through suspension but it still did not stop the defender turning up in his full kit to lift the trophy with Lampard - an act which led to some derision of the former England skipper online.

There has been no discussion as to who will have the honour of lifting the trophy this year, though, should Chelsea triumph.

``Before the game I don't think it's something to talk about,'' Lampard said. ``I don't like to tempt fate. I haven't had a conversation with anyone.

``I don't think you should do. We will see. We win together so it doesn't matter who picks it up because they will be one of the staff and we're all the same.''

Lampard arguably deserves to be the man who has the honour of lifting the famous piece of silverware if the Blues beat the two-time European champions.

The 34-year-old has had a stellar season, finding the net 17 times on his way to breaking Bobby Tambling's all-time scoring record, which had stood for 43 years.

Given that he is yet to extend a contract which runs out in the summer, it may well be his last European final for the club too.

For now, the former West Ham midfielder, who moved to Stamford Bridge in 2001, is just focusing on the final, rather than where his future lies.

``All of us here want to win this for Chelsea. I don't know what my future holds but it's all about winning the game,'' he said.

Eden Hazard is unavailable due to a hamstring injury, meaning Lampard is likely to keep his place in midfield alongside David Luiz, with former Benfica man Ramires pushing further up the pitch.

Head coach Jorge Jesus has denied that his Benfica team have resorted to dirty tricks in a bid to gain a psychological edge over Chelsea.

Benfica will be looking to avoid their seventh straight defeat in a European final.

The build-up to the game has been overshadowed slightly by comments from Benfica forward Pablo Aimar, who described the current Blues squad as the worst since Roman Abramovich bought the club 10 years ago.

The Argentine expressed his bemusement at the fact that neither Terry nor Frank Lampard are now considered regular starters while he also claimed that the Chelsea squad are not behind Benitez.

Jesus sought to play down the 33-year-old's comments, telling a press conference in Amsterdam: ``No Benfica player has undermined the quality of any Chelsea player or the Chelsea team.

``In my opinion the strongest team make the Europa League final. Chelsea is an excellent team and they will finish third in the Premier League this year. They have quality.''

Chelsea certainly have suffered a fall from grace in recent times. Twelve months ago this weekend the west London club enjoyed the most glorious night in their 108-year history - a Champions League final win over Bayern Munich - but now their only chance of silverware is the often-derided Europa League.

Benfica's decline goes much further back, however. Long gone are the days when Eusebio ran rings around some of the best players on the planet in the 1960s.

The Lisbon-based club may have racked up 32 league titles in their history, but their last European success came 51 years ago when their most famous player helped the team to a memorable 5-3 European Cup final win over Real Madrid in Amsterdam.

They hope that the game being staged in the same city and the presence of Eusebio, who will be a guest of honour at the game, will prove to be good omens.

``For Eusebio to travel here and share such a moment with us is important for the team,'' Benfica captain Luisao said.

``Obviously we respect Eusebio, he is the king and it's very important that the players know about his importance and his legend, which is still important even today, and use it as a reference point.''

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