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Chelsea need Lampard and Terry to confirm top-four spot

| 09.05.2013

If only Chelsea could have held on for the final 10 minutes with Tottenham then a top-four finish would have been 99 per cent assured and all of their focus could be placed on their Europa League final with Benfica.

Instead, the gap with fifth-placed Tottenham remains at three points after the 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge with two league games remaining.

The problem for Chelsea was that a season that has already seen them play 66 games looked to be catching up with them, especially in the final 20 minutes when they were substantially overrun by a Spurs side missing Mousa Dembele.

Frank Lampard was one player given the night off, while there was still no starting spot for John Terry and this pair could be more critical than ever to the Blues cause in the home straight.

The importance and influence of the pair has certainly dwindled under Rafa Benitez, with David Luiz one of those stepping up in terms of leadership and looking like a future Chelsea captain in the process.

However, the fact remains that Chelsea have still failed to win any of their seven Premier League games this season where both Terry and Lampard have been absent.

Lampard hasn’t managed more than three Chelsea appearances in succession since February, but his rest against Spurs should ensure he can feature at Aston Villa and at the Bridge against Everton on the final day, with the final sandwiched in between.

Meanwhile, Terry is arguably the most refreshed player in the Chelsea squad after missing the last three games and featuring in less than half of their fixtures since the start of April.

The Premier League betting still suggests that Chelsea will finish in the top four and the price for this eventuality is 1/18, while it is 4/5 that they take three points from their next outing away at Aston Villa.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.