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.

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1Manchester CityMan City33008089
2Leicester CityLeicester32107437
3Liverpool32102027
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd32102027
5Crystal Palace32016426
6Swansea CitySwansea31205325
7Everton31115414
8Norwich CityNorwich31115504
9Arsenal311123-14
10Chelsea311157-24
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham31026603
12Watford30302203
13Bournemouth310245-13
14Aston Villa310223-13
15Stoke CityStoke302134-12
16Tottenham HotspurSpurs302134-12
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle302124-22
18Southampton302125-32
19Sunderland301248-41
20West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom301226-41