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May 15, 2013

Lampard: We haven't practised penalties

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard says he and his team-mates have not been putting in extra spot-kick practise ahead of the Europa League final.

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The Blues won the Champions League last year after a dramatic shootout victory over Bayern Munich, having tested themselves from 12 yards in training regularly before the final at the Allianz Arena.

However Rafa Benitez, who has also won the Champions League on penalties - with Liverpool in 2005, has not been making his players practise ahead of Wednesday's clash with Benfica.

And Lampard does not believe there can be any perfect preparation for a shootout, having previous lost three at international level with England.

"We haven't practised yet and I don't think we will," Lampard said. "A year ago we practised them and took penalties against each of the four goalies we had. We all took them then and we won.

"But then again, I practised them with England many a time in tournaments and we ended up losing the shootout, so I don't think there is any perfect recipe.

"It is down to the individual. Some people like to practise, but Michael Ballack never practised a penalty when he was here and he was one of the best penalty takers I have played with."

For the second season in succession, Lampard could lead Chelsea out at a major European final, after regular captain John Terry a major doubt for the match with an ankle injury.

For the second season in succession, Lampard is likely lead Chelsea out at a major European final, with regular captain John Terry set to be ruled out with an ankle injury.

Terry, who was suspended for last year's Champions League triumph, would be joined on the sidelines by hamstrung Eden Hazard and Ryan Bertrand (knee), though John Obi Mikel is expected to return to the substitutes' bench.

Blues skipper Terry was the butt of many a joke after appearing in his full Chelsea kit to lift the Champions League trophy last May despite not playing in the final, but Lampard insisted the same will likely happen again if Chelsea with the Europa League in Amsterdam.

"It was the same situation for John last year and it's very unfortunate," he said. "But everybody has been involved in the process of getting us to the final.

"You win it together and, as captain of the club, John will be right up there with me."

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