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Lampard is best in league - Malouda
Published : 07 Apr 2009 10:45:00Rss feed
Florent Malouda has hailed his Chelsea team-mate Frank Lampard as better than Steven Gerrard and the best midfielder in the Premier League. Chelsea face Liverpool in a Champions League quarter-final first leg clash at Anfield on Wednesday and Malouda has stoked the fire ahead of their game. Lampard scored his 17th goal of the season in the 2-0 win over Newcastle on Saturday and Malouda insists his goalscoring record makes him stand out from Gerrard and his rivals. Gerrard has been mentioned as a contender for the PFA Player of the Year award but Malouda is in no doubt as to which player he would rather have in his side. "Who is best midfielder in the Premier League? For me it is Frank Lampard. I would never say Steven Gerrard," he said. "Frank is so special because he is always focused on the opposition goal. He is always running and full of energy. "But his game is not just about scoring goals. He comes from deep positions and that is why it is very difficult to keep him quiet. "He is always moving and always seems to score. He is running midfield but seems to have the mentality of a striker. He is never happy if he doesn't score." The France winger admits the Lampard-Gerrard clash will be key in the quarter-final, but be knows full well it will not be the only important battle on the pitch. "Against Liverpool last season in the Champions League semi-final he was really important for us," he added. "He is full of confidence and has the freedom to play and can make the difference. That fight with Gerrard will be one of the keys but it won't be the only battle out there. "Against Liverpool every player has to make the difference but the game coming up is very exciting. "We have to put every challenge in and show a lot of discipline. It will be really tight because there are world class players in every position. "We have to keep our discipline in both games and that will get us through." Liverpool beat the Blues 2-0 at Anfield in the Premier League at the start of February, then under the leadership of Luiz Felipe Scolari, but Malouda feels playing Chelsea under Guus Hiddink is a different proposition. "It is never easy to play against Liverpool but something has changed to our team since the last two games we played against them earlier this season," he explained. "What has changed with us is the confidence and the discipline we are showing. Our top, key players are now more confident. We saw that when we played away at Anfield in our last game there. "The final five minutes were difficult to take as they scored two goals but we are much more confident going there now and our game is in much better shape. "There is a lot of quality in the squad and the manager gives us a lot of confidence even when we have bad results and he tells us to play to our qualities."
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