Chelsea: Predictions for a win in an early yet important match at Lille

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 22: Frank Lampard, Manager of Chelsea looks on during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge on September 22, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 22: Frank Lampard, Manager of Chelsea looks on during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge on September 22, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) /
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Chelsea are in Lille hoping to pull out of the basement of their Champions League group. This game is a must-win not only for the early three points but because it is the most winnable of the away games.

If Chelsea have a best XI, Frank Lampard will surely cobble it together for this game against Lille. Sandwiched between Brighton and Southampton in the Premier League, this game may or may not be more difficult, but the importance of the game means Lampard will go all out for the win. Our writers expect the Blues will come away one and only a little stress.

Olaoluwa Nwobodo: Lille 1 – 3 Chelsea. The Valencia game was really Chelsea giving them a lifeline. The took only two shots on target and scored one. Valencia should not have been in the game when they scored – it should have been a consolation. But goals have become a problem with Chelsea, so that’s neither here nor there.

These Chelsea players (the new graduates, especially) will have learnt that when you don’t take your chances, your opponents take theirs. There’s still fierce competition all across the field, so the boys have a lot to prove. Michy Batshuayi will score a hat trick, but it’s going to be a difficult match. If the defense fall asleep on Victor Osimhen, he’ll appreciate any gifts with open arms.

Barrett Rouen: 1 – 2. Chelsea understand they’ll need to get something out of this game and I imagine Frank Lampard will lean on experience, at least as much as he can.

Lille are a respectable opponent who will capitalize on a lack of concentration from the Blues to keep it close. The Blues will continue to show their age and waste chances, but still come out victorious and begin to build momentum.

Nate Hofmann: 1 – 3. Lille have an important place among Chelsea’s history, having nurtured a young Eden Hazard before his move to London. That has been a theme for Lille over the years: developing the stars of the future and then selling them for sizable profits. This summer, it was Nicolas Pepe and Rafael Leao who left the club for Arsenal and Milan, respectively.

While the club is still in the upper reaches of Ligue 1 this year, they’re not as dangerous a proposition as they were a year ago. They also were already blasted 3 – 0 by Ajax in their first Champions League match.

Chelsea’s group is easily the most competitive from top to bottom, but Lille probably pose the least threat to the others. If Chelsea can put together a measured, mature performance, this should be a relative walk in the park. Then again, I said the same thing about Valencia.

Scott Brant 1 – 2. It will be a tight affair. After trading jabs throughout, the Blues score one late to snatch the three points from their opponents. Going to go with a goal from a corner, netted by a defender, and a Tammy Abraham goal.

Kevin Peacock: 0 – 2. It’s difficult to see Super Frank Lampard messing too much with his preferred line-up (whatever that is) for this must-win game. The slip-up and penalty debacle against Valencia at home has piled the pressure on. However, with a clean sheet at the weekend, the signs are the hard work taking place at Cobham is paying off.

We know there are goals in the team with the yoof now in full flow and the sine wave of form in its ascendancy. Goals from Tambraham (obvs) and Mason Mount secure a comfortable win.

Gabe Henderson: 0 – 3. A clean sheet and a goal fest, well, just because. Chelsea is close to being fully fit and, in a must-win game, the Blues will come through. Expect a strong, dominating performance from the midfield with goals from Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi.

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Abhishek Pancholi: 2 – 4. Chelsea these days operates on the motto of “We’ll score one (or two) more than you.” That means Kepa Arrizabalaga won’t add to his maiden clean sheet tonight, but will end up on the winning side nevertheless. He will have Tammy Abraham to thank for two of the night’s goals, and Christian Pulisic for opening his account with Chelsea in the Champions League.

Who he won’t be thanking, though, will be the midfield, who will be porous like a sponge but will do nothing to absorb the pressure from Lille’s frequent attacks. After a familiar and brief period in which Lille will threaten to equalize, Willian will add the final goal on the night, allowing Chelsea to gain a foothold in the group.

Varun Dani: 1 – 3. After the harsh lesson learnt in the defeat against Valencia, Chelsea have to get their Champions League campaign up and running against Lille. The importance of the tie implies Lampard will field a strong line up as opposed to rotating and the same should be reflected in the scoreline.

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Expect Chelsea to be on top for much of the game but to concede one due to tired legs.