Frank Lampard anticipates a “pretty emotional” night for John Terry when the ex-Chelsea captain returns to Stamford Bridge with Aston Villa on Wednesday.
Villa assistant Terry will be back at the club he spent almost two decades with as a professional, during which time he won 15 major honours, with many of those won playing alongside Lampard.
After leaving the Blues in 2017, Terry spent a season playing for Villa before joining Dean Smith’s coaching staff in 2018.
Terry said it would be “too much” to play against Chelsea for a rival Premier League club upon joining Villa – who were at the time in the Championship – but he will face them as an assistant instead.
“It’s not much different for me, I went up against him twice last year,” former Derby County boss Lampard told a news conference.
“We obviously get on very well and I’ve got huge respect for him and the work he and Dean Smith have done there with Aston Villa.
“So I think it’s more about John, and the reception he’ll quite rightly get from the Chelsea fans – the most decorated captain, the greatest captain who won everything.
“He feels the club, everyone knows that, and I’m sure the fans will certainly show their appreciation.
“I’m sure it will be pretty emotional for John, and he deserves that moment, and I’ll certainly be pleased to see his face back at the Bridge.”
Terry has previously spoken of his desire to follow in the footsteps of Lampard and one day manage his old club.
For now he is still learning the ropes, with Villa boss Smith saying he has been an invaluable member of his staff.
“It will be special for him,” Smith added of Terry’s return.
“He’ll get an unbelievable reception from their supporters and rightly so.
“He’s very important. I love working with JT. He’s brought something different to our coaching set-up.
“I feel like he’s come into his own with us getting promoted to the Premier League.
“He’s getting better and better as a coach. I’ve championed him a long time, saying he will eventually be a top manager as well.”