📝 Chelsea vs. Lille: Match Preview & Line-ups
Competition: UEFA Champions League – Chelsea vs. Lille, Matchday 6
Date: Tuesday, 10th December 2019
Time: 20:00 UK/ 21:00 CET
Venue: Stamford Bridge (London)
Referee: Polychronis Kostaras from Greece
Chelsea head into the Champions League meeting with Lille, realizing that a win is necessary to reach the knockout stages, or a draw only in the case that Valencia lose away to Ajax.
Lille make the trip to Stamford Bridge after failing to win any of their five matches. Having already finished in the bottom spot in Group H, they can finish no higher than fourth place.
After losing three of their last five matches in all competitions, Frank Lampard is aware that his squad have reached a stage where they must improve their performance immediately.
While Lampard heaped praise on his side after their win over Aston Villa last Wednesday, the Englishman was similarly disappointed with how his team capitulated to a 3-1 defeat at Everton on Saturday afternoon.
Lampard is looking for his players to show signs of progress, especially at the shaky backline, where they continue to concede soft goals.
The Blues remain with just four clean sheets from 24 outings, and they will always risk undermining their efforts at the other end of the pitch until they stop making individual and collective mistakes in their own defensive third.
Despite the capitulation at Goodison Park, Chelsea remain as clear favorites to get the result they need, although they face Lille at a time when Christophe Galtier's team are beginning to show their real abilities.
Three consecutive wins have helped move Lille back into contention for second place behind runaway Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
While there will be a tinge of frustration that goals are proving harder to come by, Galtier will be delighted with the character of his squad after their poor performances in Europe.
Victor Osimhen has netted twice during those recent triumphs, taking his overall tally for the season to 11 goals from 21 outings in all competitions.
Head to head results:
October's clash between these two sides was settled by a fine second-half Willian volley after Abraham's opening goal had been quickly canceled out by Victor Osimhen. That was their first competitive meeting.
· The English side have eight points, level with Valencia and two behind Ajax, who host the Spanish club on Matchday 6. Chelsea will go through if they beat LOSC, or if they draw and Valencia lose to Ajax. The London side will top the group if they win and the match in Amsterdam is drawn.
· Chelsea and Lille’s only previous competitive meeting in any competition came in October of this season’s Champions League, with the London club earning a 2-1 win.
· Chelsea have only lost one of their eight previous home games against French sides in the Champions League (W4 D3), although that was their last such fixture, a 1-2 loss to PSG in March 2016.
· Lille’s only win in six away games at English sides across all European competitions came at Aston Villa in the Intertoto Cup in August 2002 (2-0) – they have failed to score in each of their other five such matches in England (D1 L4).
· If Chelsea qualify to the knockout stages following this game, Frank Lampard will be the first English manager to progress a team from Champions League group stage – having taken charge of all six group games – since Harry Redknapp with Spurs in 2010-11.
· Lille have taken just 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).
· 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.
· Chelsea have had eight different goalscorers in the Champions League this season – excluding own goals, no team have had more than the Blues coming into this final group stage matchday.
· Christian Pulišić scored a hat-trick in a 4-2 win at Burnley on 26 October, the second American to hit a Premier League treble after Clint Dempsey for Fulham in 2012.
· Aged 21 years 38 days, Pulišić became Chelsea's youngest Premier League hat-trick scorer; he beat the record set by Abraham 42 days earlier, in a 5-2 win at Wolves on 14 September. Those hauls for Abraham and Pulišić made Chelsea the first team in Premier League history to have two different hat-trick scorers in a single campaign aged 21 or under.
· Lille have scored with just 3.9% of their shots in the Champions League this season (3/78). Coming into MD6, only Galatasaray (2.3%) have posted a lower shot conversion rate in the competition this term.
· Willian has scored 10 goals for Chelsea in the Champions League, while 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).
· Victor Osimhen has netted two of Lille’s three goals in the Champions League this season, although both games he has scored in have ended in defeat (1-2 vs. Chelsea and 1-4 vs. Valencia).
Lampard will make changes to his starting lineup, with Jorginho almost certain to return in the center of midfield.
The Italian could get the nod over Mason Mount rather than replacing either N'Golo Kante or Mateo Kovacic.
Fikayo Tomori and Emerson Palmieri are also pushing for recalls in defense, although Antonio Rudiger is only likely to make the substitutes' bench at best after recovering from a groin injury.
With Lille having had an extra day of recovery, Galtier could opt to name the same team which began the encounter with Brest on Friday night.
That would mean a starting role for former Swansea City loanee, Renato Sanches, with ex-Chelsea attacker Loic Remy being selected among the replacements.
Possible starting lineups:
Chelsea XI: Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Tomori, Palmieri; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Willian, Pulisic, Abraham
Lille XI: Maignan; Celik, Fonte, Gabriel, Bradaric; Xeka, Andre; Sanches, Ikone, Bamba; Osimhen