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Lampard fit for Black Cats trip while Chelsea sweat over Sturridge

Chelsea's Frank Lampard. Photo credit: Adam Davy/EMPICS Chelsea's Frank Lampard. Photo credit: Adam Davy/EMPICS

By Harry Kemble, sport@london24.co.uk
Friday, December 7, 2012
3:19 PM

Frank Lampard is in the squad for Chelsea’s match against Sunderland tomorrow and will also make the journey to Japan for the FIFA Club World Cup.

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The 34-year-old has not featured since picking up an injury in the Champions League against Shakhtar Donetsk in October.

The good news is timely for interim manager Rafael Benitez, as he will be without non-travelling club captain John Terry (knee) for the tournament and possibly striker Daniel Sturridge, who will certainly miss the trip to Sunderland.

“Frank is an important player, he’s very experienced,” said Chelsea’s boss, adding: “It’s disappointing for the other two.”

Terry will remain in the UK after failing to recover from knee ligament damage sustained in last month’s Premier League draw against Liverpool.

However Benitez feels the FIFA World Club Cup is a realistic target for 23-year-old striker Sturridge, who is rumoured to be in talks with Liverpool ahead of the January transfer window.

“Sturridge has been training but it’s too early for him. We’ll see if we can do something for Japan,” the manager said.

The Spaniard is also hopeful that under pressure striker Fernando Torres will soon hit form in the Premier League after netting two in the 6-1 Champions League thrasing of FC Nordsjaelland in midweek.

“He was working very hard and the team was much better. Hopefully he’ll score more goals in the next couple of games,” said the former Liverpool manager.

However, Benitez says other players also have to contribute with goals, adding: “He [Torres] needed to score and he needed to play well [against Nordsjaelland]. We need more goals from him, [Juan] Mata, [Eden] Hazard and Victor [Moses].

“We have to make more chances as a team. The main thing is if he can be involved and play well it’ll be easier for his team-mates.”

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