Owen wants to be tested by the best

OWEN Garvan will be pitting his wits against one of the world's best midfielders in Frank Lampard today - and just can't wait.

Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

OWEN Garvan will be pitting his wits against one of the world's best midfielders in Frank Lampard today - and just can't wait.

The Liverpool-supporting Garvan is desperate to test himself at the top level on a weekly basis but is happy to get a taste today as Ipswich town go to Champions' League runners up Chelsea today.


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Garvan said: “I was just delighted when it came out in the draw, for the fans and for all of the players as well, for the chance to test yourself against the best players in the world so it'll obviously be a good occasion.

“You always want to test yourself against the best players so you can look back and say you played against the best players and hopefully we'll do well."

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While Lampard is likely to make his 401st appearance for Chelsea, there is also the likelihood that Michael Ballack will play, possibly Deco, while Florent Malouda is another on a list that seems endless, and Garvan feels it doesn't matter much who he is up against.

He said: “They're all internationals, I couldn't pick out one or two but obviously they're all good, strong, athletic players and they're a good team but we know we're going to go there and battle and we're going to see what happens."

The Irishman is hoping Town can catch Chelsea in the same way they beat Crystal Palace 4-1 last Saturday and knows they will have to be at their very best to beat the west Londoners.

Garvan opened the scoring at Selhurst Park with one of his left-footed free kick specialities and it is that kind of finishing, coupled with dogged defending, that will be needed today.

He said: “I think the qualities we showed against Crystal Palace when we dug in and helped each other out and defended very well that's obviously going to be key because we know at times we're going to be under the cosh and the turnover of possession is going to be key as well."

Garvan, and his team-mates, will have plenty of backing and is relishing the big occasion.

He said: “It is, my family and friends are going to the game and with six thousand fans there it's going to be a really good atmosphere and it's the FA Cup and what you want to be part of."

With seven players allowed on the bench today Town will have plenty of cover but there is a good chance they will stick with the side that started against Palace, bearing in mind they also have a big Championship game at Barnsley on Tuesday.

Jon Walters and David Norris have recovered from knocks picked up in that game and are fit, along with full back David Wright.

Dean Bowditch could be on the bench but assistant manager John Gorman confirmed that 15-year-old Connor Wickham is not expected to be involved, despite his FA Youth Cup hat-trick on Tuesday.

Should Town hold Chelsea today, the replay will be at Portman Road on Wednesday, February 4, which means the league game against Nottingham Forest on the Tuesday will be rescheduled.

Chelsea: Cudicini, Cech, Hilario, Bosingwa, Belletti, Cole, Mancienne, Terry, Carvalho, Alex, Ivanovic, Mikel, Lampard, Ballack, Malouda, Kakuta, Kalou, Di Santo, Anelka, Drogba.

Ipswich Town: R Wright, Supple, D Wright, Harding, Bruce, Balkestein, Shumulikoski, Miller, Garvan, Quinn, Norris, Trotter, Walters, Haynes, Bowditch, Counago, Lisbie, Stead.

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