Lampard: 'Brilliant' Terry at heart of success
Frank Lampard has cited John Terry's "brilliant form" as one of the reasons Chelsea are now challenging for an historic league and cup double. Midfielder Lampard insists Terry's displays have played a major part in helping the Blues to top the Premier League by a single point from rivals Manchester United. Victory over Liverpool on Sunday would almost certainly guarantee coach Carlo Ancelotti the title in his first season and deliver Chelsea's first league crown since 2006. Terry, sent off in the 2-1 defeat at Tottenham, will return from suspension to face Liverpool on Sunday. The defender has come under criticism for his form and behaviour off the pitch this season. Terry was stripped of the England captaincy by coach Fabio Capello following lurid headlines concerning his private life. But Lampard believes people have to look beneath the hype and the controversy and recognise Terry's efforts on the pitch this season. "I'd like to take this opportunity to stand up for JT," said Lampard. "He's taken a bit of stick recently but Stoke was the first league game he's missed all season. "His general form has been brilliant. That's one of the reasons we're top. "Technically and defensively he's miles ahead of most of the players he gets compared to and that's why he's always in the FIFPro team and winning UEFA's most valuable defender award. "We all know it's fashionable to have a pop at the top of the tree but at Chelsea we know his true value." Chelsea's bid for the double has once again raised the thorny issue of a parade through the streets of west London. If the Blues go on to win the title and then beat Portsmouth in the FA Cup final on May 15, they will become only the seventh team in history to win both competitions in the same season. Chelsea upset fans when they did not hold parades after winning the Carling Cup and the FA Cup in 2007. They missed out again last year when the Blues beat Everton to win the FA Cup with logistical problems blamed for the absence of a parade. Last year, Chelsea were unwilling to pay the £250,000 cost of cancelling the parade at short notice if they lost the Cup final but World Cup duty appears to be a possible stumbling block this time around. Most of the players are required to report for World Cup duty within days after the game and some have further to travel than others in order to link-up with their respective squads. The club have stressed that their initial talks with the local council are necessary at this stage and should not be seen as over confidence regarding their chances of winning either the Premier League or FA Cup. "It's only prudent to plan ahead for the possibility of a large scale event should the club be successful this season," said a club spokesman. "Due to the time scales involved in authorising the required licences and permissions, it's important to give local authorities sufficient lead time to plan effectively." Meanwhile, the club's assistant manager Ray Wilkins says he is not expecting any favours from Liverpool in Sunday's clash at Anfield. Wilkins expects the game to be "humdinger" and did not blame Manchester United's Wayne Rooney for asking the Reds to "do United a favour and beat Chelsea". "It's a massive, massive game for us on Sunday and Rooney is quite right, he would want Liverpool to do Manchester United a real favour," said Wilkins. "Liverpool will put themselves out and they have to do that as professional people, we expect no favours from them whatsoever. The game on Sunday will be and should be a humdinger. "Even if Liverpool were to beat us and offer the championship to Manchester United, that's what they have to do, that's their job, that's their work. They have to try 100% to do that," Wilkins told talkSport.
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