Michael Essien: 'Big challenge for returning hero Frank Lampard'

Michael Essien says eliminating Chelsea in the EFL Cup will be a tough ask for Frank Lampard and Derby County.

Frank Lampard celebrates Derby County's shoot-out win over Manchester United   -  Getty Images

Frank Lampard's Stamford Bridge return in the EFL Cup with Derby County will be a big but difficult night, according to former Chelsea team-mate Michael Essien.

For the first time in his fledgling managerial career, Lampard will be in the opposition dugout against the club where he won 11 major trophies - including three Premier League titles and the Champions League.

His Derby side booked its fourth-round berth with a penalty shoot-out win over Manchester United at Old Trafford, the Rams drawn against Chelsea in the subsequent draw.

Essien played alongside Lampard for the Blues and expects the 40-year-old to get a huge welcome from the fans, but does not expect another cup upset.

"We all know what he did for Chelsea, he is a legend," he told Omnisport. "He's coming home so it will be a big night.

"I'm sure he's looking to win but it's not easy at Stamford Bridge."

Derby arrives at Stamford Bridge unbeaten in their last five Championship matches, a run that has included victories over promotion rivals Sheffield United and West Brom.

Chelsea goes into the tie having progressed from 18 of their last 19 EFL Cup matches against non-Premier League sides, and the Blues have won their previous eight home matches against the Rams.

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