Frank Lampard is set to feature in Manchester City’s starting XI against Chelsea as he makes his first return to Stamford Bridge following a controversial exit over the summer, according to reports from the Daily Star.
The 36-year-old midfielder left the Blues last year upon the end of his contract, agreeing a deal to join newly-formed MLS side New York City FC.
But with the Big Apple-based outfit not due to kick a ball in professional action until spring this year, their ownership situation – Man City co-own the club with American baseball giants the New York Yankees – saw ‘Lamps’ sent to the Etihad Stadium to maintain his fitness and feature for the first-team.
The controversy has recently kicked in amid suggestions that the deal is not a loan one and instead a contract with a view to his eventual exit to join NYCFC when the Premier League season ends – the 2015 MLS will be underway by then – which has angered fans.
Lampard has already scored against Chelsea in the clubs’ league draw earlier this season, and with Yaya Toure away at the AFCON, Manuel Pellegrini is set to call upon him to start in west London.
The veteran midfielder is Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer with 211 efforts to his name for the club, and is still held in high regard by many of the team’s fans.