Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said he is looking forward to meeting his predecessor and current Everton manager Frank Lampard on Sunday.
The weekend’s clash will be Tuchel’s first visit to Goodison Park and, more interestingly, his first meeting with Blues legend and former manager Lampard.
Facing the threat of relegation, there is no room for sentiment for Lampard and his Everton side this time.
Third-placed Chelsea, on the other hand, will only need a maximum of eight points from the remaining five matches to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League.
Tuchel, however, insisted that there will be no “gifts” from either side.
“I was happy to see a legend like him on the sidelines for his club,” the German said told Chelsea TV when speaking about Lampard.
“I think this was a very nice story which football also needs; like Pep [Guardiola] and Barcelona, and now Xavi [Hernandez] — I like this kind of stories.
“To play against him at Everton is also big.
“We had some exchanges of messages, now we meet for the first time. I’m looking forward to it.
“First of all, I’m a huge fan of him as a player, and he was a true gentleman when I took over.
“We will not exchange any ‘gifts’ on Sunday I think, this is agreed.
“I’m also excited that a lot of people told me how great an atmosphere it can be at Goodison Park, that it is one of the true old-school English grounds where it’s hard to play.”
Lampard clearly does not expect any favour either.
“My only thought is preparing the team to try and win the game and that’s what every single person at Chelsea would expect me to do,” the Everton boss said during his pre-match press conference.
“I’ll focus completely on that.”
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