Dec 8, 2012 at 3pm UK at ​Stadium 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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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Chelsea25193352183460
2Manchester CityMan City25164551292252
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs25148346182850
4Arsenal25155554282650
5Liverpool25147454302449
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd25139338211748
7Everton25118640271341
8West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2510783431337
9Stoke CityStoke258893036-632
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2595113443-932
11Southampton2586112831-330
12Burnley2593132736-930
13Watford2586112942-1330
14Bournemouth2575133549-1426
15Swansea CitySwansea2573153154-2324
16Middlesbrough25410111927-822
17Leicester CityLeicester2556142443-1921
18Hull City2555152249-2720
19Crystal Palace2554163246-1419
20Sunderland2554162446-2219