Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez making no promises to Frank Lampard

Rafael Benitez has refused to promise record-breaking Frank Lampard a starting place in Wednesday's Europa League final.

The Blues take on Benfica in Amsterdam on Wednesday and travelling fans would be delighted to see Lampard line up in midfield after he broke Bobby Tambling's club record of 202 goals against Aston Villa yesterday.

Lampard has more than just a sentimental claim to a place in Benitez's XI, though, with his brace enough to turn a likely defeat at Villa Park into a 2-1 win.

The England international has been used relatively sparingly by Benitez since his arrival as interim manager and his appearance in the side against Villa appeared to be an indication he would sit out the final.

A late hamstring injury to Eden Hazard - who joins John Terry (ankle) in being a major doubt - may open the door for Lampard, but Benitez was playing his cards close to his chest when quizzed on the subject.

"You have to play with 11 players and they all have been working very hard for me," he said.

"The main thing for me is to pick the right team. Frank has been a really good professional when he has been playing and even when not playing to help the team.

"All the information we have when he finishes games is that the physical data is good. He can play a lot of games.

"But we have to see how they are and after that we pick the team."

Benitez would have been forgiven for casting an envious glance towards the Holte End yesterday as his opposite number Paul Lambert was given a rousing reception by supporters, despite the club remaining in relegation trouble.

Chelsea's crowd have made little secret of their hostility towards Benitez since his arrival at the club and are unlikely to be satisfied even if he adds a European title to a top-four finish.

"It has been a big success, 100 per cent," he said.

"(But) It was very clear when I arrived that being Liverpool Football Club's manager in the past was not ideal for some fans.

"You cannot convince everyone but I'm sure a lot of them will be pleased."

Despite the acclaim he received from the stands, Lambert cut a frustrated figure after defeat.

Victory would have secured safety but now they must wait for Tuesday's match between Wigan and Arsenal for their next chance to celebrate.

If they do need a result against the Latics on the final day of the season they must do so without 19-goal striker Christian Benteke, who was sent off for two yellow cards after putting his side ahead.

Regardless of those concerns, the Scot took time to thank the crowd for their backing during a turbulent first season at the helm.

"I've always said the crowd have been fanstastic since I've been here, they've been right behind us from day one," he said. "I think they're knowledgable and see what we're trying to do. They've been right with it from day one.

"You need the crowd. There's no two ways about it. You need that support behind you, you need to have them on your side and the Aston Villa crowd have been fantastic with me."

As for the all important match in midweek, Lambert added: "I'll be watching the game, but we know we can't influence anything."