Continue the momentum.
Chelsea travel to Rennes in France to play Rennes for MD 4 of the Champions League group stage. At the moment Chelsea sit top of the group with 7 points while Rennes sit bottom of the group with 1 point. Mathematically if Chelsea win then it would all but guarantee Lampard and company a spot in the Round of 16 with 2 games to go and that would be massive in terms of resting some key players in the coming weeks. Rennes need to win to stand any chance of the Round of 16 but the more realistic target for them would be 3rd place. Rennes have lost to PSG and Bordeaux since losing to Chelsea and so are not in great form going into this game. The French side did put in a spirited performance at Stamford Bridge though and was very much in the game until the red card. One can expect Rennes to play in similar fashion to the reverse fixture.
Chelsea have progressed well since beating Rennes and have added 2 more wins to their streak. For Lampard 3 points will be the main target to seal an early qualification. Lampard and co will be wary about Rennes threat though and will know that Chelsea have to treat this game as any other game. Complacency cannot set in and that will be drilled into the squad by some of the senior players in the team right now.
Chelsea Team Preview
Pulisic is back in training but has been left in London so that he can build his fitness for the game against Spurs. Havertz and Thiago Silva are back in the squad for the trip and travelled to France. With a game against Spurs at the weekend one can expect some rotation but since it’s a Sunday kick off we should see a strong side. Mendy should start in goal with James at right back and Emerson at left back with Chilwell rested. Silva should return alongside Zouma as the centre back. Kante should keep his place at CDM with Kovacic and Mount as the attacking 8’s. I expect Werner to be rested and Hudson-Odoi to start on the left with Ziyech on the right and Tammy up front. Havertz, and Werner should provide plenty of threat from the bench. Lampard could of course choose to play Azpi or Jorginho while Giroud could also sneakily start the game. A strong XI to get the job done early and then bring on some players for game time. With 5 subs available, early goals would allow Lampard to give the likes of Havertz some game time.
Rennes Team Preview
Some key players are back for Rennes that were missing for the reverse fixture as Camavinga is now fit for selection in the midfield. Striker Niang is also available although whether he starts or not is up for debate. Camavinga could be crucial though especially if he gets going with the young Frenchman having a Pogbaesque vibe to him. Guirassy, Terrier etc can all pose a threat as well and Chelsea will have to treat this game as any other.
Starting XI Prediction
A win in Rennes for Chelsea will go a long way in resting some players over what is a very congested run of games. Lampard will have learned from last season’s mistakes though and will want to get the 3 points. COME ON CHELSEA!!!