Frank Lampard admits the clash between Chelsea and Tottenham will be “different” as he faces his old boss Jose Mourinho, who will be “desperate” to get one over his old club.
Spurs were 12 points behind Chelsea when Mourinho first replaced Mauricio Pochettino, but an upsurge in form – coupled with several defeats for the Blues – has seen the gap close to just three points.
Lampard – who won two Premier League titles under Mourinho – believes both he and his former manager will have extra motivation on Sunday.
Asked what it will be like facing his old coach, Lampard told BBC’s Football Focus: “I think it will be special. I think it will make a difference to me, I think it will make a difference to him.
“We’re both professionals, we’re driven, and sometimes when you come across someone you worked with or a club that you worked with, it pushes you on that little bit more in the best possible way.
“And it’s Tottenham-Chelsea, that game has enough anyway. And then you have Jose Mourinho there. And he’s going to be desperate to beat us, let’s make no bones.”
Asked if it would mean more to beat Mourinho, Lampard added: “In my professional head, yes. I want to go up against the best.
“When I’ve gone up against Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp this season, of course you want to say, ‘Can I show against these incredible managers what I can do, what my team can do?’ So it will be a similar feeling.”
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Mourinho has won four of his five Premier League matches in charge of Spurs and Lampard says they are right back in the conversation to finish in the top four.
Asked if he was surprised when Mourinho took over at Tottenham, Lampard said: “Yes and no. I mean, this is football. He’s a man for a big club. I think it’s massively interesting for the Premier league.
“I think his personality – and his record – is something that needs to be in top-level football. So having Jose back is obviously going to mix it right up in the Premier League.
“We know the record that Jose has as a winning manager, he’s won wherever he’s been. He’s come into a club, and a squad, that were probably tipped to be somewhere in the title race at the beginning of the season.
“They had a difficult start, but they still have those players. So with the freshness of Jose Mourinho of course they’re going to be challengers for sure for the top four.”