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Rafa coy on Europa selection

Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez has refused to confirm whether John Terry and Frank Lampard will play in next week's Europa League final.

Last Updated: 10/05/13 at 08:12 Post Comment

Rafa Benitez: Will manage Chelsea in the Europa League final against Benfica

Rafa Benitez: Will manage Chelsea in the Europa League final against Benfica

Club captain Terry, 32, missed last season's Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich through suspension and has not started any of the Blues' last three games.

Midfielder Lampard, 34, who is one goal shy of equalling Bobby Tambling's record of 202 goals for the club, is in the final weeks of his contract, with uncertainty over whether he will still be at Stamford Bridge next season.

However, Benitez said there was no room for sentiment in his team selection, with the starting XI for next Wednesday's final against Benfica still to be determined.

"What I can say is that Lampard will play against Aston Villa (in the Premier League on Saturday) and I cannot say anything about the final," Benitez said.

"The only player that I can guarantee today who will play against Aston Villa is Lampard. The final, I don't know. I haven't decided [the team] yet."

And Benitez declined to reveal who would be starting in the centre of defence in Amsterdam.

"The competition in this position is really hard here," he said. "[Gary] Cahill, [Branislav] Ivanovic, David Luiz, they are doing well, too.

"Now we have four centre-backs, they have to compete and they are doing well."

Benitez again backed Lampard to break the record and hopes it can be accomplished against Villa - to make his final team selection more straightforward.

"I have confidence that he will do it," Benitez said. "He can play one more game and after see what will happen in the other two [games].

"If he can score against Aston Villa it will be easier for me in the last two games.

"If he scores two goals against Aston Villa, we'll begin to talk about what we will do.

"I will do what I have to do to win games and if at the same time I can help Frank, I will do it."

Chelsea may be without Eden Hazard (calf) and Victor Moses (leg) for the trip

to Birmingham, while Ryan Bertrand (knee) remains out.

The Blues hope victory at Villa Park will confirm their Champions League return, after a draw with Spurs on Wednesday delayed their bid to seal a top-four place.

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reat article. Hits the nail on the head. Encapsulates why I don't read tabloid newspapers anymore. The only thing worse is the 'told you so first' headline when they get lucky.

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Time To Burst The ITK Bubble

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amous. If that can be achieved whilst sitting in your pants and without any degree of hard work, all the better. I have no desire to be famous, but the rest of that line suits me just fine. Great article by the way, well worth the wait.

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Time To Burst The ITK Bubble

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here seems to be little focus on the performance of Besiktas. They played very well and stopped Arsenal from playing. Credit has to go to their manager. As much as Arsenal didn't play too well, we kept a clean sheet, but the home side made it very difficult.

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Chambers' Poise Impresses Again

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