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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 May 2007, 05:51 GMT 06:51 UK
Ballack effect concerns Brooking
Chelsea midfielders Frank Lampard (left) and Michael Ballack
Lampard and Ballack have not clicked as a partnership for Chelsea
FA Cup final
Date: Saturday, 19 May
Kick-off: 1500 BST
Venue: Wembley
Referee: Steve Bennett (Kent)
Watch (in UK): 1240 BST, BBC ONE. Highlights 2250 BST, BBC ONE
Listen: BBC Radio Five Live
Updates: BBC Sport website and mobile

Sir Trevor Brooking believes Michael Ballack's arrival at Chelsea has had an adverse effect on Frank Lampard.

Ballack will miss the FA Cup final against Manchester United on Saturday and ex-West Ham and England striker Brooking says that is good for Lampard.

"Michael Ballack likes to be the attacking player and sometimes Frank has had to go out on the left, which is not his best position," said Brooking.

"As Ballack is not available it allows Frank to be more of a danger."

Brooking, who is the Football Association's director of football development, added: "I expect Frank will play a more prominent role.

"I imagine he will play on the forward tip of the diamond, if they line up like that, and that he'll be freer to push forward where he can be such a threat."

Shevchenko doesn't quite seem to have that yard of pace to get away from opposition defenders

Sir Trevor Brooking

Ballack arrived at Stamford Bridge last summer, along with striker Andriy Shevchenko, after his contract with Bayern Munich came to an end.

But both players have struggled to make an impact with Chelsea and Shevchenko will also miss the FA Cup final because of injury.

The showpiece at Wembley represents Chelsea's only chance to add to the Carling Cup during a season in which Manchester United wrestled the Premiership title off them and Liverpool knocked them out of the Champions League at the semi-final stage.

"There's no question that Ballack and Andriy Shevchenko haven't been as strong as Chelsea would have liked," added Brooking.

Sir Trevor Brooking
Brooking believes Michael Essien is a key player for Chelsea

"They haven't made the impact expected.

"A lot of overseas players find the pace of the game tough in England, even with all the skills they have.

"Shevchenko doesn't quite seem to have that yard of pace to get away from opposition defenders," he said.

"Whether that's a result of the World Cup or the effects of some lingering injuries I don't know.

"His form has been a problem for Chelsea. When wide men like Joe Cole or Arjen Robben have been injured they have found it difficult to get behind teams.

"To compensate they've had to rely on Didier Drogba's goals. For Chelsea the most important thing against United will be getting the support for Drogba who has carried the scoring."

Chelsea v Manchester United
16 May 07 |  FA Cup
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15 May 07 |  Chelsea
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09 May 07 |  Chelsea
Shevchenko to miss FA Cup final
07 May 07 |  Chelsea


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