Dec 8, 2012 at 3pm UK at ‚ÄčStadium of Light
Sunderland
1-3
Chelsea
Johnson (66')
Gardner (42')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Torres (11', 45'), Mata (49')
Ivanovic (72'), Ramires (84'), Mata (87')

Frank Lampard makes squad to play Sunderland

Frank Lampard
© PA Photos
Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez is able to include Frank Lampard in a travelling squad for the first time today as the Blues prepare to face Sunderland.

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard will end a seven-week absence to take a place on the bench against Sunderland this afternoon.

Lampard has been out injured since damaging his calf against Shakhtar Donetsk in October, with manager Roberto Di Matteo replaced by Rafael Benitez since then.

Benitez believes that Lampard's experience could prove crucial in ending a run of seven Premier League games without a win.

He told reporters: "It is positive that he is back because we need character, we need numbers, and Frank is an experienced player.

"We've got a good team and a strong squad, but we needed players with more experience, and he could make a difference. He adds something, finding players between the lines, getting into the box and scoring goals.

"He cannot be the box-to-box player he was 10 years ago, but he'll be important for us when we're in possession with the players we have up front, people with good movement and ability. You need someone to link with them, and he can play that role."

Lampard's captain John Terry is unavailable for the Sunderland match and will miss next week's FIFA Club World Cup with a persistent knee problem.

John Terry lies in agony on the ground
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Arsenal15104136152134
2Chelsea14111232112134
3Liverpool1493235181730
4Manchester CityMan City1593332191330
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs1476124101427
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd145631916321
7Watford156362126-521
8West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom145542017320
9Everton155551919020
10Stoke CityStoke155461722-519
11Bournemouth155372125-418
12Southampton144551315-217
13Burnley155281525-1017
14Leicester CityLeicester154472126-516
15Crystal Palace154382729-215
16Middlesbrough143651315-215
17Swansea CitySwansea153391931-1212
18West Ham UnitedWest Ham143381529-1412
19Hull City153391432-1812
20Sunderland1532101427-1311
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