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Lampard insists Blues won't target former team-mate

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Frank Lampard insists Chelsea have not targeted erratic Arsenal defender David Luiz as any kind of FA Cup final weakness.

Lampard and Luiz formed vital cogs in Chelsea's 2012 Champions League triumph, but the Blues' young manager allowed the Brazil defender to join rivals Arsenal shortly after taking the Stamford Bridge helm last summer.

The 33-year-old Luiz has endured his share of Arsenal bloopers this term but starred as Mikel Arteta's men stunned Manchester City 2-0 to reach the FA Cup final.

Chelsea boss Lampard hailed Luiz's growing influence on Arteta's new-look Arsenal, admitting his wariness of his old team-mate's threats ahead today's cup showdown at Wembley.

Asked if Chelsea had identified Luiz as a possible Arsenal weak point, Lampard replied: "No, I certainly haven't. I look at Arsenal as a collective and look at the individuals of the team, and however we prepare for the game has to remain private. But what I do have for David is a real respect. I played with him as a teammate in the Champions League in 2012 and the bond of that group was huge.

"David was a big personality, a big player within that. When I think about preparing for a game against Arsenal with David in the team, I know how good he can be and the influence he will be in the team. So I look at him in that way, absolutely."

Arsenal can secure Europa League qualification should they defeat Chelsea, but Lampard rejected the idea of that adding any extra pressure to either side.

Former Arsenal midfielder Arteta left his assistant role at Manchester City to take the Gunners' hot seat and looks to be building steadily. Lampard revealed his admiration for the Arteta ahead of an intriguing clash between the two bosses.

Indo Sport

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