On Tuesday evening, February 22, as part of the first leg of the 1/8 finals of the Champions League, Chelsea London will host Lille at Stamford Bridge. Thomas Tuchel’s wards will try to create a comfortable advantage before the return game.
The Aristocrats are among the top three teams in the Premier League this season. Thomas Tuchel’s team scored 50 points in 25 rounds. Above in the table are only Liverpool and Manchester City. The hosts score an average of 1.5 goals per game, conceding 1.2 goals. In the last 7 meetings, 5 victories were won. The Blues beat Crystal Palace at Sellhurst Park 1-0 last Saturday thanks to a goal from Hakim Ziyech. Before that, they took the Club World Cup, defeating Palmeiras 2:1 in the final. Romelu Lukaku finally regained his former form, Jorginho’s attacks (6 goals) and Mason Mount (7 goals scored) are developing. Right lateral Rhys James returned from injury, in the infirmary – only defender Ben Chilwell and midfielder Hudson-Odoi.
In the Champions League in the fall, the “aristocrats” took second place in the quartet with Zenit, Malmö and Juventus. They could have won the group, but they stumbled in the 6th round in St. Petersburg (draw 3:3).
Doge are in 11th place in the French Championship table, which does not paint the reigning champion. With just 36 points after 25 rounds, they are an incredible 23 points behind leaders PSG. The difference between goals scored and conceded is negative – 32/36. In the last 4 meetings, the red-blue won only once – they beat Montpellier 1:0. Last Friday, the team of Joslin Gurvennek could not print the gates of the outsider of the championship “Metz” (draw 0:0) (2, Russian). Among the latest transfer news is the signing of Hatem Ben Arfa, who is already 34. A much more serious loss – the right lateral Reinildo Mandava moved to Atlético Madrid.
The participation in the upcoming match and the main attacking midfielder Renato Sanchez remains in question. Lille qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League thanks to a group win against Wolfsburg, Sevilla and Salzburg.
The teams faced each other 3 years ago in the 2019–20 Champions League group. Then the Londoners celebrated the victory both times: 2:1 at home and 1:2 away.
Forecast for the match Chelsea – Lille
Today’s Lille is not at all the one that took the French championship a year ago. “Dogi” registered in the middle of the standings of the national championship, so they also lost a number of key performers. The Tuchel team will do everything possible to go to the second leg in March with a solid advantage. All leaders are healthy, and the crowded stands at Stamford Bridge will only cheer up the players. Our prediction is for the hosts to win with a handicap of -1.5.