FA Cup win or defeat won't impact Premier League top four battle, insists Chelsea manager Lampard

Frank Lampard Chelsea 2019-20
The Blues boss is keeping his cards close to his chest ahead of a pivotal week for the west Londoners in the league and cup

Frank Lampard faces several selection dilemmas ahead of his Chelsea's FA Cup semi-final match with Manchester United at Wembley Stadium, including which goalkeeper to play.

Typically, Lampard has opted to use his No 2 goalkeeper Willy Caballero in the domestic cup competitions this season, with his 38-year-old having kept a clean sheet in the quarter-final win over Leicester City. However, Kepa did start in the game against Liverpool in the round earlier having briefly lost his No 1 spot to the Argentina international.

Lampard was cautious about revealing anything about his line-up ahead of such a big game.

"It’s a question that I know the answer to already," Lampard said, before admitting that he wouldn't reveal the answer.

He did confirm though that N'Golo Kante remains injured after picking up a small hamstring problem, but the Blues have a full squad at their disposal aside from youngster Billy Gilmour.

The Blues also benefit from an extra day of rest, with the starters from the win over Norwich having had Wednesday off as a recovery day, while on Thursday they had a light session. They then conducted two full sessions ahead of the match at England's national football stadium.

Lampard denies that a win in the cup can help his side finish above Manchester United in the league, as the two clubs battle for Champions League football next season alongside Leicester City, with two spots available in the top four.

"I generally think it has no bearing," Lampard added. "This is a competition in itself. We all know what's at stake and what's at stake is a place in the final. The next two games will come very quickly after that and each of us will deal with it in our own way.

"Obviously, there's the physical demands of the game will have a small effect maybe on the Wednesday game that we play next week. We will have to deal with that and get on with it. Other than that, I am not sure it will have much bearing.

"We all know their front three are playing very, very well, the amount of goals they've put together has been amazing. So we have to understand that and work against that.

"They do have a strong team throughout, their midfield is functioning very well now, the introduction of Bruno Fernandes gave them a huge boost in January, I think everyone's seen that. So we need a complete performance to challenge Manchester United."

Chelsea have already played Man United three times this season in the Premier League and Carabao Cup, and they have lost all three matches.

Lampard has complained about the impact of VAR and felt some of the matches were harsh scorelines on his side, but he has ended up losing the matches by an aggregate scoreline of 8-1.

Indeed, conceding goals too freely has been a more general problem for Chelsea, as their 49 goals allowed is the worst among the top 10 in the league. Lampard is aware of the issues and he is aware that they need resolving against Man United.

"We are working on it, we always work on it specifically," he concluded. "There is never a neglect in the game and it always has to be constant and repeated constantly.

"A big problem of ours this season is that we have been committing individual errors in games, and sometimes in games where we have been in good comfort, but a counter-attack or a cross into our box, where we haven’t really been having to defend our box that regularly necessarily through the season.

"Certain games have been different to that. Like Sheffield United, where we just didn’t play well as a team. We have had individual errors in big moments which have changed the face of the results slightly. It has been too regular, no doubt.

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"I look at it, as it’s my responsibility, individually where can we improve? It can only come on a training ground. This is what it is, and collectively how can we improve as well.

"We will always take responsibility as a whole, I always work on it and we will have to be very much on top of ourselves when it comes to the quality of the opposition we have on Sunday.

"Because no matter what they can always hurt any defence or any team with the individual quality that they have. So it was good to get a clean sheet against Norwich, but this will be a different animal and we will have to defend very well."