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.
Dec 8, 2012 at 3pm UK at Stadium of Light
Frank Lampard makes squad to play Sunderland
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