Bengaluru, Feb 12: Frank Lampard would have to handle a season-defining session in February, which looks to be the most testing time for him in his career.
The Blues are having a mixed season this campaign. They started the season off on a terrible note against Manchester United after losing 4-0 in the opening day. However, the Blues slowly came back strong in the later weeks and since have taken control of the fourth Champions League spot.
As many as five clubs are sniffing around Lampard's side in the league at the moment. Sheffield sit just two points below them while Spurs are four points adrift. Everton have also recently jumped up in the table having played one game more and are five points below them while Manchester United and Wolves have six points gap with the Blues.
However, precisely the gap could have been even bigger with Lampard's men managing just one win in last month. Chelsea are still active in the UEFA Champions League, the FA Cup. While any silverware at the end of the campaign would surely be a bonus. But finishing within the top 4 surely is the priority at the moment which makes February an extremely tough month of football.
Realistically, Sheffield's upturn has been one of the shocks of the season and no one really imagined they would have competed for a top-four spot. Their challenge for a top-four spot still look far fetched and given other top sides having a better experience and squad strength they might just slip. Everton and Wolves both have been solid too in recent times but they are likely to compete for Europa spot mainly. The main two threats for Lampard is anticipated to be spurs and Manchester United.
And Chelsea's upcoming fixtures in Premier League includes two matches against these two only, starting with Manchester United. Any point dropped in these games would allow other teams to catch them or get past them in the chase which makes the next two fixtures most important in this case. Wins against both the Red Devils and Spurs would ensure that they further extend their grip over fourth place.
While Frank Lampard is sure to be preparing for tough domestic ties, he also has to ensure that his side makes a strong fight in Champions league also.
In case of the Champions League tie against Bayern Munich, most of the fans right now do not expect Lampard to have a good contest there. However, Lampard has frequently experienced struggle against top teams and this would be the occasion to prove his strong point in front of the World. Plus, a win over such an elite opponent would be a huge morale-booster for the remainder of the season to fans as well to the team.
Consequently, February now looks to be the most interesting time for Chelsea fans and surely Lampard needs to prepare his team with the best condition assuming the best possible outcomes.