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Chelsea v Lille: Frank Lampard says his young side can ‘make a mark’

Lampard won the Champions League as a player with Chelsea in 2012

BBC coverage

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Listen on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC local radio; text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Chelsea could welcome back centre-back Antonio Rudiger for their “knockout” Champions League tie with Lille.

Rudiger recovered from knee surgery to play 45 minutes of the Premier League victory at Wolves in September, before suffering a separate groin injury.

Chelsea must beat Lille to ensure qualification for the knockout stages and manager Frank Lampard says there is a “chance” the German could feature.

“It is good to have him back and he is training really well,” said Lampard.

A 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.

They missed the opportunity to qualify in their last game by failing to beat Valencia, but if the Spanish side lose to Group H leaders Ajax, then Lampard’s side also could qualify with a point from their final game.

Lampard, who was “disappointed” how his side conceded three goals at Everton on Saturday, says the experienced 26-year-old Rudiger “looks fit and hungry”.

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.”

Match facts

Head-to-head

  • 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.

Chelsea

  • 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 Paris St-Germain in March 2016.
  • If Chelsea qualify 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.
  • 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 game.
  • 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

  • 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).
  • 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 have 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).



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