Lille host Chelsea at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Wednesday night in the UEFA Champions League. The Blues hold a 2-0 first-leg advantage after goals from Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic. LOSC have struggled this season with a poor title defence that has seen them in mid-table for much of the season. A run of three wins and two draws in their last five Ligue 1 matches have seen the side jump to sixth in the table.
LOSC Lille have picked up some form of late after a very difficult title defence. Before the first leg against Chelsea, they sat 11th Ligue 1. A 2-0 defeat in that first leg made it four defeats in eight matches in all competitions.
Their backline was a real problem as they leaked 14 goals in six matches before two clean sheets going into the first leg. Since that match at Stamford Bridge, they have won 1-0 at Lyon, thrashed Clermont 4-0, and draw 0-0 at home with Saint-Etienne. That has seen the side move up to sixth, seven points off Marseille in the second spot.
Lille Team News
Coach Jocelyn Gourvennec suffered a major blow as Renato Sanches – superb in the first leg – went off injured against Saint-Etienne. He will miss this match with Amadou Onana perhaps the man to step into midfield in a very attacking setup.
Hatem Ben Arfa started over the weekend but could drop down to the bench for this match for a more defensively-sound option behind the out-of-form Jonathan David. Timothy Weah and Angel Gomes are options to come in down the flanks as Lille search for goals.
Lille would take a draw from this match without a doubt. Even a one-goal defeat gives them a chance in the second leg.
They are not completely out of the race for Europe in Ligue 1 but are too far adrift that to prove a distraction – all focus is on this match. They will likely set quite deep with a slow backline and look to counter through their pacey wingers and David upfront.
The Blues have won 10 of their last 11 matches in all competitions. The only match they failed to win during that period was the 0-0 Carabao Cup final against Liverpool, in which Chelsea lost on penalties. That was arguably the side’s best performance during this fine run of form.
Tuchel’s side have lost just once in the last 24 matches, a 1-0 loss at Manchester City (with the Carabao Cup final loss on penalties officially counting as a draw). Chelsea have lost just once in their last 10 away Champions League matches, winning seven and drawing two.
Chelsea Team News
Thomas Tuchel has some issues in the wingback areas for this match. Reece James is very doubtful and Ben Chilwell is still absent. Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta are both back in training after illness but are lacking some fitness. Saul could get the nod down the left in preference to Alonso, with Malang Sarr also an option.
In midfield, Mateo Kovacic should earn a recall with Jorginho dropping down to the bench. Christian Pulisic is also set to start alongside Mason Mount and Kai Havertz in the front three. Romelu Lukaku is set to be on the bench once again.
The Blues will be very focused on progressing to the next round. They will want to win the match but a draw is perfectly fine so a defensive approach is expected.
Chelsea knows that scoring a goal will require Lille to score three times so once ahead, they could sit back and absorb pressure in a busy fixture period.
Lille have failed to score in 3 of their last 5 matches
Lille’s striker David has scored 1 goal in his last 10 matches
Lille have kept 5 clean sheets in their last 6 matches (14 conceded in 6 matches before that)
Chelsea have won 10 of their last 11 matches (all comps)
Chelsea have lost 2 of their last 37 matches (all comps)
CFC have kept 7 clean sheets in their last 11 matches
CFC have lost of their last 10 away CL matches (W7, D2)
Kai Havertz has scored 6 goals in his last 7 matches
This is unlikely to be a goal-fest or an exciting match. You have two teams who are both keeping plenty of recent clean sheets. Lille are struggling to score goals whilst CFC are relying on Havertz right now. A low-scoring affair looks like a good bet.
Best Bet: Both teams to score – No at 2.00
Value Bet: Under 1.5 goals at 3.25
Alternative Bet: Chelsea win to nil at 3.20
Correct Score Tip: Lille 0-1 Chelsea at 6.50
Goalscorer Tip: Havertz anytime scorer at 2.60
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