Big Game Focus: Chelsea v Lille

Chelsea host Lille in their final Group H game with qualification for the Champions League knockout stages hanging in the balance. Defeat for the Blues would see them demoted to the Europa League for the rest of the campaign. You can bet on the game here.

After a bright start to the season, Frank Lampard’s side come into this game having won just once in five matches. Their inability to defeat either Ajax or Valencia in their past two group games means that they have to take all three points tonight in order to guarantee a place in the last 16. In contrast, a loss against an unfancied Lille side would mean elimination.

The French outfit have endured a dreadful European campaign so far, picking up a sole point from five matches. No side has gained fewer points so far in the group stage. However, their spirits have been lifted of late thanks to three consecutive wins in Ligue 1, including victory away to Lyon just seven days ago.

The Blues ran out 2-1 winners when these sides met in France two months ago, but the pressure is now on them to repeat that feat here. A draw would leave them hoping that Ajax beat Valencia, and such a risk cannot be taken.

Betting tips

Lille’s win at Lyon was their first away victory of the season. Prior to that result they had lost seven of their nine games on their travels, drawing twice. They have also lost four of their five Champions League games this season, a disappointing fall from grace for a side that finished second in Ligue 1 last season. You can get odds of 1.25 on a Chelsea win tonight.

Eight of Chelsea’s last ten games have featured Over 2.5 Goals. The London side have scored six goals and conceded the same number in their last two group games. Bet on Over 2.5 Goals at odds of 1.50.

Four of the last six Champions League matches at Stamford Bridge have seen more goals in the second half. Similarly, there have been more goals scored after half time in both of Lille’s away games in the group to date. Back Second Half with Most Goals at odds of 2.00 here.

Team news

Long-term absentee Antonio Rudiger is unavailable for selection, while the game will likely come too soon for Fikayo Tomori. As a result, Andreas Christensen is likely to keep his place at the heart of defence.

Lille have no new injury concerns following their weekend win over Brest.

Possible line-ups

Chelsea: Arrizabalaga, James, Christensen, Zouma, Azpilicueta, Kante, Kovacic, Willian, Mount, Pulisic, Abraham

Lille: Maignan, Celik, Fonte, Gabriel Bradaric, Sanchez, Xeka, Andre, Bamba, Ikone, Osimhen