FRANK LAMPARD lit the fuse ahead of their showdown by warning Jose Mourinho he will get dog’s abuse from Chelsea fans.
The love affair between a manager who turned the Blues into serial trophy winners and supporters who once adored him is long since dead.
And things will get even more spiky tomorrow when Mourinho hosts them as manager of bitter rivals Tottenham.
Chelsea boss Lampard said: “If you go to your fiercest rivals, fans will give the answer. That doesn’t mean they have forgotten the history or don’t respect it.
“Jose Mourinho is a manager who wants to work and took that opportunity.
“He won’t be too concerned, either. Look at the times he came back with Manchester United, it looked like he didn’t care back then.
“We know that it’s a huge rivalry. Probably, in my era, it became the biggest of the London derbies.
“It just felt like that in the stadium and on the pitch. So possibly it is.
“Any rivalry, any local derby, ups the ante. I remember that feeling, that eagerness to win and desperation not to lose. That’s how we all feel about it.”
This highly charged encounter will be complicated further by the shared history of Lamps and Mourinho — the self- appointed Special One.
This will not be the first time Lampard has faced his old boss across a technical area, having beaten his Red Devils in last year’s League Cup while boss of Derby.
It is a sign of how far rookie Lampard, 41, has come that, like the Chelsea fans, he has a new word for Mourinho — only his is more palatable.
Lampard said: “I would always have big respect for all my managers.
“If I was to text or ring a manager, I’d always call them boss or gaffer. Even managers from long ago.
“It would be strange to call him boss now. I am an ex-player, on this side of the fence, so I won’t be calling him boss.
“But that doesn’t take away from the respect I have for him.
“It was a good honour to go up against him but I wanted to beat him.
“The problem with this is it’s not the me and Jose show. It’s a game against Tottenham. I want to beat him. I respect him and know what a top manager he is.
“He wants to beat me because he used to manage Chelsea, he used to manage me and now he’s managing Tottenham and wants to beat us.
“He was a big influence on my career. To go up against him with Derby last year was a big deal for me.
“I’ll always have respect for him. The bigger thing is Chelsea-Tottenham and what that rivalry means to our players.
“Our fans will demand on Sunday what we feel for the game — passion.
“It should be relatively even when you look at the clubs and, in the last four years, where Chelsea and Tottenham have been fighting to get into the top four.”
Lampard is only missing long-term absentee Ruben Loftus-Cheek, though the teams are in vastly different form.
Chelsea have lost four out of five league games, while Spurs boast four wins from five since Mourinho joined and can move above them into fourth with victory.
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Lampard demanded his players show ‘balls’ after last Saturday’s dismal 1-0 home defeat against Bournemouth.
He added: “Balls come in different ways, if you get my meaning. Courage and bravery come in different ways.
“Against Tottenham it will be, ‘Can we fight against them?’ ”