Chelsea take on Lille in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 on Wednesday at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy, and the stakes couldn’t be higher.
A lot has changed for the Blues since their 2-0 first leg win at Stamford Bridge, where goals from Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic proved enough to give the defending Champions a decisive lead in the tie. Since then however, the club has been rocked by sanctions on owner Roman Abramovich, leading to his departure altogether and threats of an all out collapse of the football club.
But despite concerns, the game against Lille will still go through, and Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel seems adamant that his side can get the job done in France.
“The mood is good (in the camp). I am convinced the team knows what it takes to perform like this, produce results. This is what we are up to again tomorrow,” Tuchel said in the lead up to the game.
The Premier League giants are expected to welcome back defensive duo Cesar Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva, but should be without the services of Reece James, Ben Chilwell and Callum Hudson-Odoi due to injury.
Lille have lost just one of their last 17 games at home in all competitions, but will be buoyed by the return from illness of Benjamin Andre. Jocelyn Gourvennec’s men will however, be without the services of Portuguese playmaker Renato Sanches, who was injured in the club’s recent clash with Saint-Etienne.