Injury hit Chelsea must beat Lille to ensure qualification for the knockout stages
December 10, 2019
first Champions League home win in six attempts would guarantee Chelsea a place
in the last 16 – but depending on other results, they could also progress with
a draw against the already-eliminated French side.
missed the opportunity to qualify in their last game by failing to beat
Valencia, but if the Spanish side loses to Group H leaders Ajax, then Lampard’s
side also could qualify with a point from their final game.
More injuries hamper Lampard’s team
Striker Olivier Giroud is
unavailable and defender Fikayo Tomori also remains sidelined but the Blues
boss has challenged his young squad to “make a mark”.
“I was fortunate to have big
nights as a player and they are the ones that stick in your mind,” said
the club’s record goalscorer.
“So it’s an opportunity for
the team, and particularly the young boys, because it’s quite new for them.
“It’s a big game and they
are coming thick and fast.
“I like the pressure of this game being a knockout, and if we are going to do anything good here, we have to have lots of these nights.”
Chelsea and Lille’s only previous competitive meeting in any competition came in October of this season’s Champions League, with the London club winning 2-1.
If Chelsea qualifies for the knockout stages, Frank Lampard will be the first English manager to take a team successfully through the Champions’ League group stage – having taken charge of all six group games – since Harry Redknapp with Tottenham in 2010-11.
Chelsea are winless in their last five Champions League games at Stamford Bridge (D4 L1), their longest run without a win in the competition on home soil.
Willian has scored 10 goals for Chelsea in the Champions League. A goal in this game would make him their outright fourth highest scorer in the competition, behind Didier Drogba (36), Frank Lampard (23) and Nicolas Anelka (12).
Lille have taken only one point in the Champions League this season (W0 D1 L4) – under the current group stage format, the only French side with fewer in a single campaign in the competition was Marseille in 2013-14 (0).
Lille has scored with 3.9% of their shots in the Champions League this season (three out of 78). Coming into this sixth round of group games, only Galatasaray (2.3%) have posted a lower shot conversion rate in the competition this term.
Victor Osimhen has netted two of Lille’s three goals in the Champions League this season, although both games in which he has scored have ended in defeat (1-2 v Chelsea and 1-4 v Valencia)