City head to West London looking to defeat the Blues and close the gap at the top of the Premier League table to two points, and it is likely that Frank Lampard will play a key role in the game. It was the former Chelsea midfielder who secured a point for City at the Etihad Stadium earlier this season, having gone behind to an Andre Schurrle goal, and, whilst there were no hard feelings against him on that day, the new circumstances surrounding his transfer to City may make the return to Stamford Bridge rather incendiary.
The 36-year-old, who spent 13 years as Chelsea player, reportedly agreed to sign with New York City FC, before moving to Manchester on a season-long loan. However, it has since come to light that he never signed with the club, rather agreeing a deal with the owners to play for City this term, before moving to New York at the end of the campaign. It does little in contractual terms, as he would have agreed a loan deal regardless of where he played, but to the Chelsea fans, it suggests a lack of faith to his former club.
Whilst clapped at the Etihad, he will potentially be on the end of some criticism when he takes to the field at Stamford Bridge, and Ron Harris believes that the atmosphere could go over the top if Lampard scores the winning goal for City.
Quoted by the Independent, Harris - who is Chelsea’s all-time record appearance maker - said: "There will be some [supporters] for him and some against. They should support Chelsea. Frank's a terrific lad and served Chelsea ever so well.
“(But) if he was to score the winning goal for Manchester City, it might blow up.”