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Midfielder ready to face Premier League leaders

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that midfielder Frank Lampard will start against Manchester United on Sunday.

The 32-year-old played the final 12 minutes of his side's 1-1 draw with Tottenham last weekend, after three-and-a-half months on the sidelines with hernia problems.

Earlier in the week, Ancelotti confirmed that Lampard would start the top-of-the-table clash with rivals United if he suffered no reaction in a practice game on Thursday.

It appears that the England international has come through that test unscathed, as Ancelotti told reporters that the midfielder will now definitely start on Sunday.

"He [Lampard] played 60 minutes without problems and finally he will play on Sunday.

"He will start. It is good news because this team missed Lampard, his ability to score from midfield and his experience.

"It is very good news and he can help us in the next games because he is fresh and has strong desire to come back to play."

Lampard's return is a big boost to a Chelsea team that have suffered an alarming dip in form over the past month. The Blues are without a win in five games and are on their worst league run for more than a decade, which has seen them drop from first to fourth in the Premier League.

Didier Drogba missed a stoppage time penalty in the draw with Tottenham but Ancelotti feels the result showed that his team had turned the corner.

"In that game I realised that we are alive and we will start winning soon," he said.

Manchester United will travel to Stamford Bridge in high spirits after a 1-0 win over Arsenal on Monday night, but the Blues will be hoping that the return of Lampard will inspire them to a much-needed victory.

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