Lampard bites back at Klopp claim Chelsea are title favourites

Rob McCarthy
Lampard Klopp TEAMtalk

Frank Lampard has shrugged off Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp installing Chelsea as Premier League title favourites.

Liverpool’s title defence has already been besieged by a hefty injury list, though Klopp’s second-placed Reds are level on points with leaders Tottenham.

Chelsea sit third and are now unbeaten in nine league games, with Klopp having hailed the Blues’ “unbelievable” squad strength when marking out Lampard’s men for glory.

Stamford Bridge boss Lampard was quick to shake off Klopp’s tip however. He insists his third-place Blues remain a work in progress after their £220m summer recruitment drive.

“I’m not sure anyone actually really went for it,” said Lampard, of Klopp making Chelsea favourites for the title.

“I think Liverpool and Manchester City seem to be pretty much everyone’s favourites, when they perform the way they have in the last three years, building up the squads they have over the last few years. Quite rightly so.

“Even with injuries you look at Liverpool’s squad, the team they put out last night (against Wolves), they cope with those injuries. They have a big squad and most teams in the Premier League do.

“Tottenham are in the equation, so are Manchester United and so are others at this point. It’s very tight.”

Asked if Klopp’s assertion was a straight case of mind games, Lampard said: “I don’t know, but he can have his opinion.

“I think it’s pretty clear where we are. We’re in good form at the moment, but as I keep saying we have players who have come in, some younger players and players that have just come into the Premier League.

“Teams like City and Liverpool have had a lot of success with very established players in positions who have been performing at a really high level in the Premier league.

“So we are trying to get there and reach that, and that takes a lot of consistency over the months ahead.”

No pressure to sell Chelsea star

Frank Lampard insists he is under no pressure to sell out-of-favour Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Lampard revealed the Spain international will start Tuesday’s dead-rubber Champions League clash with Krasnodar at Stamford Bridge.

The 26-year-old will make his first appearance since October, having slipped out of the team following Edouard Mendy’s £20million arrival from Rennes.

Kepa became a £71million world-record signing for a goalkeeper when joining Chelsea from Athletic Bilbao in 2018, but has failed to convince at Stamford Bridge and especially under Lampard.

Lampard has previously admitted Kepa was struggling with his confidence and form, but Chelsea have already won Group E leaving Tuesday’s clash the ideal opportunity to rotate resources.

Chelsea could reasonably seek to cut any losses on Kepa, but Lampard insisted the club’s board have made no such moves.

Asked if he is under any pressure to move Kepa on, Lampard said: “No, there’s no pressure. The pressure, and I’m not saying this has been spoken about, is to win games.

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“I have to do the right thing game by game of course.

“And Mendy has made himself a permanent fixture at this point.

“Because the pressure to win games means I pick people in form, goalkeeper, striker, winger, whoever.” Read more…