FA Cup: Benitez eyes chance of silverware
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez is intent on making up for his side's virtual elimination from the Premier League title race by taking a major step towards alternative silverware this week.
Benitez leads his side into tomorrow's FA Cup fifth round clash with Barnsley before Inter Milan arrive at Anfield just three days later for a crucial Champions League showdown.
And while Benitez is expected to juggle his starting line-up in order to give himself the best chance of success on two fronts, he is not under-estimating the importance of the clash against the Tykes.
Benitez said: 'Your aim is to win every trophy but sometimes you have to be realistic and sometimes you cannot.
'A lot of teams have the same problem. We have not won the league for 18 years and I have been here for three.
'We will try to win every game in the league to try to finish in the top four. But we know we also have a big chance in both of the cups and we will be taking them seriously.'
Frank Lampard believes his six-week injury lay-off could be beneficial as Chelsea welcome back a number of players ahead of a run of three games in nine days starting with the visit of Huddersfield.
The England star returned to the Blues midfield as captain for Sunday's goalless draw with Liverpool, his first game since Boxing Day after he suffered a thigh injury.
The 29-year-old believes he could benefit from his enforced absence, with the Blues chasing the quadruple of Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and Carling Cup - with Tottenham waiting in the final a week on Sunday.
Lampard said: 'Although it is great to be back after so long out, the break might have a positive effect for me as far as the rest of the season is concerned.'
Lampard has regularly clocked up 50-plus games per season but has managed just 23 so far this term because of his injuries.
The former West Ham player added: 'I feel so much fresher now, both mentally and physically.
'It's never really happened to me before that I've had to have so much time off.
'It's very frustrating because you can't even have much contact with the lads while you are spending long days at the training ground just trying to get fit.
'I've always been used to playing so many games but perhaps this will bring some extra freshness for me and a few other lads here who have been in the same boat. It could make for a really good end to the season now we are back.'
As well as the return of Lampard, manager Avram Grant will welcome back his full complement of African Nations Cup players, while Ukraine striker Andriy Shevchenko has finally reported fit after a back injury.
Skipper John Terry has declared himself available for the upcoming matches against Huddersfield in the FA Cup tomorrow, Olympiacos in the Champions League in Athens on Tuesday and Tottenham at Wembley.
Sol Campbell has warned Portsmouth's FA Cup debutants that struggling Preston will be no pushover in the fifth round at Deepdale on Sunday.
Skipper Campbell insists Pompey should need no reminding of what lower-league opposition can do in a one-off clash after Harry Redknapp's team scraped through the two previous rounds against Ipswich (1-0) and Plymouth (2-1).
But players like Sulley Muntari, John Utaka and Lucien Aubey are getting their first taste of the FA Cup and Campbell fears they might think it is an easy alternative to the Premier League.
Campbell says: 'A lot of guys coming from playing abroad are used to having it easy in cup games against lower league teams.
'So it is up to us English players to put them right and make sure they know it's not that way here.
'Like Ipswich and Plymouth in the previous rounds, Preston will be chasing around trying to make life difficult for us.'