Lampard faces first ECL clash as manager

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard (l) is looking forward to his first ECL match as Chelsea manager.
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard (l) is looking forward to his first ECL match as Chelsea manager.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is relishing the prospect of his first Champions League match as manager.

The occasion comes on Tuesday when the Blues kick off their Group H campaign by hosting Valencia.

Lampard's playing career with Chelsea included making over 100 appearances in the Champions League and helping them win the competition in 2011-12.

The Valencia contest follows Saturday's 5-2 Premier League win at Wolves, which saw Chelsea's young academy graduates Fikayo Tomori, Tammy Abraham - scorer of a hat-trick - and Mason Mount all register goals.

When Lampard was asked about the victory at Molineux in terms of momentum and the game coming next, he said: "It's certainly a good feeling to see the team play the way they did.

"We need more clean sheets, that's something we continually need to work on.

"But, yeah - the Champions League. It is the top club competition in world football and I'm sure Mason and Tammy and Tomori are all excited for it.

"All the players should be, all players love the Champions League - and I'm looking forward to my debut as a manager."

Abraham came off in the 77th minute on Saturday looking to be in discomfort and Lampard, who stressed when it comes to the Champions League he will just pick on merit and won't consider age, confirmed the 21-year-old striker had been suffering with cramp.

Chelsea are assessing defender Antonio Rudiger, who was substituted at half-time after slipping on his way off the pitch and feeling pain in his groin.

Meanwhile, Lampard says he thinks Callum Hudson-Odoi is "not far off" as he continues his recovery from the Achilles injury he sustained in April.

Lampard said ahead of the Wolves match midfielder N'Golo Kante, who has been absent for the last three games due to an ankle issue, was close to a return.

Australian Associated Press