The Chelsea vs Lille match in the first leg of the Champions League last 16 will take place at Stamford Bridge, London, Tuesday night local time or Wednesday morning WIB, 23 February 2022.
Defending champions Chelsea qualified for the knockout stages as Group H runners-up. Meanwhile, Lille, who won the French League last season, advanced to the last 16 as winners of Group G.
Ahead of the match, the Blues coach, Thomas Tuchel, revealed that Callum Hudson-Odoi might miss this match. He is still struggling with the injury he sustained around his Achilles.
Cesar Azpilicueta who suffered a thigh injury, has shown his condition is improving. Meanwhile, Mason Mount is still a doubt to play despite his return to training as he is still recovering from an ankle injury. For Reece James and Ben Chilwell remain sidelined.
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Mason did a very good individual session. He will try to get back into team training today, but he may need a little while to play again. Maybe he is involved with the squad, but he hasn’t trained with the team,” Tuchel said as quoted from the website. club official.
Mount suffered an ankle injury when he beat Palmeiras 2-1 in the Club Cup final in Abu Dhabi, 12 February.
Before facing Lille, Chelsea played away at Crystal Palace last weekend. In that match, they looked difficult to score goals. But Tuchel’s men managed to get the full points thanks to Hakim Ziyech’s late goal in the 89th minute.
With this result, Chelsea is now in third place in the Premier League standings with 50 points from 25 matches, 13 points adrift of leaders Manchester City and seven points from runners-up Liverpool.
Romelu Lukaku’s appearance in the Premier League match last weekend got the spotlight. The Belgian striker only recorded seven touches of the ball throughout the 90 minutes
The absence of wing-back duo Reece James and Ben Chilwell makes Chelsea’s strength in attack also considered lacking. Their absence has been cited as the reason why the Blues did not create as many goal chances in a third of the pitch which resulted in Lukaku finding it difficult to score as was the case against Crystal Palace.
Responding to this, Tuchel said, the absence of key players in the long term would certainly make a change in the team’s playing style. However, he emphasized, it didn’t just happen to his team.
Meanwhile, Lille departed for London after playing in a goalless draw against Metz in the French League home game, last weekend. The previous week, they won 1-0 at the headquarters of Monpellier.
Lille’s performance in the domestic league this season is far from the previous season. They are now 11th in the table, 23 points behind Paris Saint-Germain who top the Ligue 1 standings.
Lille are likely to face hosts Chelsea without Angel Gomes who picked up a calf injury against Metz. He had to be pulled off the field when the game had been running for 27 minutes.
As his replacement, Hatem Ben Arfa or Timothy Weah could have been revealed to replace Gomes’ role while playing at Stamford Bridge.
Renato Sanches also has the potential to be used since the early minutes to replace Xeka. Meanwhile, Zeki Celik is likely to replace Tiago Djalo at right-back.
Next, the estimated line-up and match predictions.
Chelsea: Edouard Mendy; Marcos Alonso, Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger; Cesar Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante; Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz; Timo Werner
Prediction for the match Chelsea vs Lille
The two teams’ duel in the first leg of the Champions League last 16 at Stamford Bridge, Tuesday night local time, is expected to be exciting. Chelsea, who is the defending champion, is predicted to play hard in order to secure a path to the next stage.
Thomas Tuchel will certainly prepare a special strategy to be able to bring the Blues to conquer Lille resistance. By looking at their performance record in the last few matches, Chelsea have the opportunity to win this Champions League match