London, Oct. 4 (ANI): Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard reckons that Liverpool is his team toughest rival - and not Manchester United.
"In England, Liverpool are our toughest rivals. They aren't the best team because United have proved they are. But Liverpool have a really difficult way of playing. Their defence is very strong and they have a lot of players who press you, even up front," News of the World quoted Lampard, as saying.
There have been 30 encounters between the Blues and the Reds since the start of the 2001-02, out of which Chelsea won 12.
There have been some famous victories for Chelsea along the way, including a 4-1 triumph on Merseyside in the Premier League in 2005, a Champions League semi-final win in 2008 and last season's quarter-final success in the same competition.
But there have also been some huge set-backs, including being knocked out of the Champions League semi in 2005 and 2007. ampard rated his match-up with England sidekick Steven Gerrard as his biggest battle of the season.
"Stevie is the hardest player to play against because he's got everything, he's a complete midfielder and England's stand-out," Lampard, 31,said.
"It's a good rivalry because we get on well and I enjoy playing with him for England. Stevie is one of the best players in the England team and in the world, so it's always nice to play with and against great players," he added.
Lampard has been bagging 20 goals a year for Chelsea but has scored only one in the league so far.
However, Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti is confident about him.
"It was the same last season when he started slowly. He is in a slightly different position but has to keep a good feeling going," he said. (ANI)