Group winner decider?
Chelsea play Sevilla in Seville on Wednesday night for MD 5 of the Champions League group stage. Chelsea sit top of the group on goal difference while Sevilla are right behind them and the winner of this game would go 3 points clear of the other. The reverse fixture was a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge a little more than a month ago and so there has been much development in both teams since then. Sevilla have played 8 games since our draw winning 6 drawing none and losing 2 games. Sevilla find themselves 5th in La Liga and are actually doing quite well given the fact they have 2 games in hand. Lopetegui and team showed at Stamford Bridge that they are an active and pressing side and they put in a performance that was at a very high level.
Chelsea go into this game having drawn at the weekend to Spurs and searching for a 3 points so that they can seal top spot in the group. Sevilla actually travel to Rennes next so the result in this game might not seal top spot for any team but a win would make it comfortable for Chelsea. Lampard stated that his team knows that the job isn’t done yet and that this is a big game but he also knows that some players need a rest after some hectic weeks of football. The tactical side of Chelsea has become fairly streamlined and fixed as we know how Chelsea are going to setup and we know how we are going to play. The formation stays fluid only the players are switched at times.
Chelsea Team Preview
Lampard stated that he had a fully fit squad to select from with Billy Gilmour also travelling to Spain with the team. I expect Mendy to start in goal with Reece James as the right back and Azpilicueta as the left back. I would actually start Tomori and Rudiger for this game because I do think Zouma also needs a rest. Jorginho, Kovacic, and Havertz will probably be the midfield with Pulisic, Giroud, and Hudson-Odoi up front. A strong lineup with the likes of Werner, Tammy and Ziyech on the bench incase we need attacking changes. With the games coming thick and fast we need to be able to use the full squad. One can expect Gilmour to come on if things are going well as 5 subs will be available to Lampard.
Sevilla Team Preview
Ocampos and De Jong are doubts for the game with muscle problems but Sevilla have a good enough bench to make up for it. Players like Munir, En-Nesyri, Rakitic etc can all cause Chelsea problems. Their defence is also pretty good with players like Kounde and Carlos at the back. Sevilla are strong and energetic side and it will be interesting how they handle a Chelsea side who themselves have developed over the last month.
Starting XI Prediction
It’s going to be an interesting game in Seville with both teams having already reached the Round of 16. For Chelsea fans the key is to get the win and that the rotated players like Pulisic and Havertz get more match fitness. COME ON CHELSEA!!!