We’ll take unpredictable United on face value, says Chelsea’s Lampard

Frank Lampard
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LONDON (Reuters) – Manchester United’s wildly unpredictable start to the season will have no bearing on Chelsea’s Premier League trip to Old Trafford on Saturday, according to Blues boss Frank Lampard.

United lost 3-1 and 6-1 at home to Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur respectively but bounced back with an away win at Newcastle United last weekend and pulled off a notable win at Paris St Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Chelsea have not won in the league at Old Trafford for seven years and Lampard’s reign as manager began last season with a 4-0 hammering at United. They also lost 2-0 at home, although they did win the FA Cup semi-final between the two.

“I think the league’s unpredictable, you can analyse all the games; you talk about certain games where big teams have conceded a lot of goals or there have been big turnarounds in games,” Lampard, whose side threw away a two-goal lead to draw 3-3 at home to Southampton last weekend, told reporters.

“We’ve been part of one of those, and so have others.

“So I’m not interested in that, I think United are a very good team, we’ve played them enough last year to know that and I’m not concerned in what might have happened in games before. We’ll take them at face value.”

Chelsea have conceded nine goals in five games but were much-improved defensively in a 0-0 draw at home to Sevilla in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Veteran defender Thiago Silva was outstanding in that game while keeper Edouard Mendy was a calm presence.

Mendy will start against United with Kepa Arrizabalaga ruled out with a shoulder problem while Thiago is also available for selection with Chelsea’s only absentee being Billy Gilmour.

Veteran keeper Petr Cech will not travel despite being surprisingly added to Chelsea’s Premier League squad.

Chelsea are eighth in the table with United down in 15th so both sides will be desperate to put down a statement of intent.

“They went to Paris and got a fantastic result, and everything is very close in the league,” Lampard said.

“It’s an opportunity to get some very hard-earned points, but it will be a tough match.”