Frank Lampard has admitted the size of the task Chelsea face on Saturday night
The Blues travel to face old foes Bayern Munich in the Champions League last-16
Lampard’s side are 3-0 down on aggregate after first-leg defeat to the Germans
The Englishman captained Chelsea when they beat Bayern in the 2012 final.
However, Lampard insists he will not be bringing back memories for inspiration
It turns out that Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is not the only returning hero making a decent first impression.
In recent days, Miroslav Klose has been back with the Bayern Munich first team, beginning life as assistant coach to Hansi Flick.
After four years as a Bayern player, the 42-year-old former striker is forging a reputation in the dugout and plans are already in place for the upcoming Champions League mini-tournament.
‘If we can make it to Lisbon he will take care of the players who stay here,’ Flick revealed.
Tempting fate? Perhaps. But Bayern are 3-0 up from the last-16 first leg and for tonight’s return clash in Germany, the omens could hardly be worse for Chelsea.
Only four times have sides overturned a deficit of three or more goals. None has done so after losing the first leg at home. ‘We have to believe we could have the opportunity to do something special.’ Lampard said.
‘It is a huge task, no doubt… [but] games have turned to big degrees, some famous games and great games.’
Few nights have matched the drama of Chelsea’s last trip to the Allianz Arena when, in the 2012 final, they triumphed over Bayern, injuries and the odds.
Lampard was captain that night but he insists: ‘I won’t use that [to inspire]. If I tried to use short stories from my career the players would be very bored of me. This is a big experience for them, no matter what: a fantastic stadium and a fantastic team.
‘It does not matter about historical change-arounds in football. It is about what the players do on the day.’
Chelsea’s hopes of achieving another miracle in Munich faded further after last weekend’s FA Cup final, in which Christian Pulisic, captain Cesar Azpilicueta and Pedro were injured. Jorginho and Marcos Alonso are suspended, while Willian has an achilles problem and is expected to join Arsenal.
‘As a club we have done everything we can to explain to Willian,’ Lampard said. ‘Mine and his relationship is very close and I would have no feeling of disappointment if he does move on. He is a fantastic man and a fantastic player.’
Willian will, though, leave a void of experience and quality. ‘It will be a huge loss for us,’ defender Antonio Rudiger admitted.
Lampard has had to dip even further into Chelsea’s youth ranks. Four players could make their debuts tonight, while Ian Maatsen and Armando Broja have one senior appearance apiece.
But Flick claims he won’t be wrong-footed. ‘We have all the information about all the players,’ he said. As for Chelsea’s inexperienced manager? ‘He’s really had an extraordinary season,’ added the Bayern boss, who will be without the injured Kingsley Coman and Benjamin Pavard.
This will be their first competitive match since July 4 but captain Manuel Neuer insists they will not be caught cold. ‘I don’t know what is an advantage,’ he said. ‘To have had this break in between or to have played the season until a short time ago.’
Chelsea will need any and every edge if they are to create more happy memories in Munich. ‘A lot is possible in football,’ Flick said. ‘But we hope it won’t happen.’
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