Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said he was looking forward to his first meeting with Everton counterpart Frank Lampard, adding that the former midfielder will always be a great Stamford Bridge despite his difficult time as manager at the London club.
Tuchel succeeded Lampard in the Chelsea job in January last year and guided them to the FA Cup final and Champions League title within months of taking over.
“(Frank) sent me a very kind, respectful message after taking over at Chelsea that meant a lot,” Tuchel told reporters ahead of Sunday’s clash at Goodison Park.
“I was a big fan of his as a player and he is and will always be a legend at our club and that goes without saying. It’s a very exciting week for me, I’d love to meet him. We need the points, they.” need the points urgently too.”
Chelsea are third in the league while 18th-placed Everton find themselves in a relegation battle, two points from the safety zone and six games to go.
Lampard, who replaced Rafa Benitez in January, said Chelsea are a big part of his life but that would not change the nature of the task at hand.
“My only thought is to prepare the team to try and win the game and that’s what every individual at Chelsea would expect from me. That’s what I’m going to focus on,” Lampard said on Friday.
Centre-back Yerry Mina and striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be available against Chelsea, but defender Ben Godfrey is out with a quadriceps injury and could be out for the rest of the season.
Asked if he would stay at Everton if relegated, Lampard added: “I don’t want to get into that question but what I want to say is I loved every minute at this club. I was welcomed incredibly well by the fans and I will do everything to get this club back to where I want it to be.”
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