'Every year is harder and harder' - Lampard wary of Juventus threat

The Chelsea midfielder has revealed his respect for the Italian ahead of the Blues' Champions League group stage opener at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening
Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has expressed his respect for the club's upcoming Champions League opponents Juventus.

The Blues face the Serie A champions on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge hoping to get their European campaign off to the perfect start.

However, the 34-year-old admits it will be a tough ask to beat a side who did not lose a single game in the Italian top flight last term.

"Every year is harder and harder. Real Madrid and Barcelona are stronger than ever, but we have to keep focused and do well since it is the first match of the group," he told reporters.

He added, "We know that the match against Juventus won't be easy. They are a very strong team that is part of football's history.

"They won the last Serie A unbeaten, they have invested a lot and in the right way, so they are a hard nut to crack for us."

The England international went on to reveal his favorite games of last year's victorious campaign and dismissed suggestions that winning the competition has quelled his desire this time around.

"Particularly the two matches against Barcelona in the semifinal were exciting," he stated.

"It's great to have the trophy and medal in the drawer, but it is not the case to relax. Since we did it once, why not try it again?"

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