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I hope Frank Lampard doesn’t play against us – Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp ahead of Thursday’s clash with Chelsea

The Blues midfielder has found himself on the sidelines in recent games, and the Spurs boss admits it would be a massive benefit if he didn't feature in the London derby

Harry Redknapp is hopeful that Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas will leave Frank Lampard out of his team ahead of Thursday’s London derby.

The 33-year-old has been a prominent figure at Stamford Bridge for the best part of a decade, but has found himself on the periphery as of late, starting three of the last six games on the bench.

Villas-Boas included the midfielder in his starting line-up against Wigan on Saturday, but the Blue’s failure to beat Roberto Martinez’s side may lead the Portuguese to adjust his midfield.

But Redknapp believes Lampard is by no means a spent force, and would have no complaints if he did not feature at White Hart Lane.

"I hope he isn't playing tomorrow," Redknapp told reporters.

"He is a fantastic player so if he is not playing I wouldn't be too disappointed.

"Look at his record, he scores nearly 20 goals a year every year.

"That's incredible for a midfielder."

Tottenham are currently third in the table with a game in hand on their opponents, and a win on Thursday would extend their lead over the Blue’s to five points.

But the Spurs boss has rubbished suggestions his side have an advantage over the Blues, adding: "I wouldn't say we are favourites.

"It looks like an even game and we were not saying that a few years ago. We have come a long way."

Villas-Boas received criticism recently for his choice of tactics, but fears that the 34-year-old would be sacked during his first season in charge eased after his side embarked on a four-match unbeaten run, inflicting Manchester City’s first loss of the season in the process.

Yet Redknapp believes his problems are nothing compared to the pressure on Blackburn boss Steve Kean, whose side lost 2-1 to Bolton in Tuesday night’s relegation battle at Ewood Park.

"Chelsea will be there at the end of the season going for trophies," Redknapp continued.

"Villas-Boas' situation is different to that of someone like Steve Kean. The Chelsea fans are not abusing him non-stop are they? He has good players. They are bang up there where they always are and I am sure he will do a great job there.

"They have fantastic players, mentally strong players who have been there and won it all."

Spurs go into Thursday’s clash having lost just once in their last 13 games, but are likely to be without Gareth Bale after picking up an ankle injury, with captain Ledley King and striker Jermain Defoe also doubts.

"Bale is struggling at the moment. He hasn't been able to train so he is very doubtful.

"Jermain thinks he has a chance but the physio doesn't.

"The physio feels if we take a chance on him he could tear it quite badly and then it's a six-week job. We don't need that really, but he loves training and playing."