Frank Lampard’s stuttering Chelsea side will be coming into this tricky fixture, knowing full well what the situation in their group is at the moment. Even with three teams still vying atop the table, the Blues will be aware that a win against Lille on Tuesday is enough to secure promotion to the next round, even if they’re not able to finish top of the group.
The Blues showed excellent spirit to produce a comeback against Ajax a couple of gameweeks ago and will have to be at their absolute best if they hope to beat this spirited Lille side. Although the Ligue 1 club cannot make the knockout stages irrespective of any of the results on the night, they will be eager to prove their credentials against one of the most celebrated clubs in all of Europe.
The Blues are set to be without the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Antonio Rudiger due to injury, with the former said to be no closer to a return, having suffered a few setbacks in recent weeks. Although Rudiger’s comeback will be highly anticipated, it is actually the Englishman’s return that could have a more positive impact on Lampard’s team.
While Rudiger could make the bench if required, it’s unlikely that Lampard will want to push him back in the fold too quickly. Marco Van Ginkel’s ACL injury means that he will play no part in the tie, while the gaffer could bring the likes of Jorginho and Tomori back into the first-team setup this midweek.
Chelsea 4-3-3 Predicted Lineup
Despite Antonio Rudiger’s expected return to fitness, Fikayo Tomori could be brought back into the side for this midweek encounter. Although Andreas Christensen hasn’t shown himself in the worst of light in recent weeks, Lampard could prefer partnering Kurt Zouma with the dynamic youngster, rather than the more tactical Dane. Kepa Arizzabalaga should keep his place between the sticks as well.
The Blues could shift to a midfield three for this crucial encounter against Lille at Stamford Bridge. They will do well to dominate the pace of the game from the start and ensure that they don’t allow the potent Lille attack even a sniff at goal. Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante will be partnered in midfield by the returning Italian Regista Jorginho, who’s been rested for the past couple of fixtures. Expect Mason Mount to be dropped from the lineup for this tie.
Tammy Abraham has been the Blues’ top scorer this season, and with 11 goals to his name, the forward is second on the Premier League golden boot charts as well, behind only to the rampant Jamie Vardy. The youngster has shown just how big of a miss he can be for Lampard in recent weeks, and his importance to this side cannot be underplayed. He is expected to be supported from the flanks by the usual suspects Christian Pulisic and Willian.
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