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Chelsea vs Lille in the Champions League on Feb 22. 2022 - Odds & Prediction

Chelsea vs Lille in the Champions League on Feb 22. 2022 - Odds & Prediction

Reigning champions of Europe Chelsea continue on their quest to defend their crown as they take on last season’s Ligue 1 victors Lille, in the Champions League Round of 16.

Chelsea are fresh off the back of winning the Club World Cup for the first time in their history, after beating Brazilian side Palmeiras 2-1 in extra time.

Lille haven’t quite hit the heights they did last term domestically, and like the Champions League odds suggest, they face a stiff task in this tie.

The visitors are at 9/1with bet365 to come away with a surprise victory in this first leg. Chelsea are heavy favourites with the big betting sites, and Thomas Tuchel will feel confident his side can take a healthy lead with them to France.

  • Kindly note that all information in this preview, including whether or not the event will take place, is subject to change due to Covid-19.
MarketPrediction
HandicapChelsea -1
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Chelsea -1 (Handicap)

If performing anywhere close to their best, Chelsea should be winning this relatively comfortably. The Blues have been a bit shaky recently but they’re getting the job done well enough to suggest they can pick up the victory here.

With Tuchel’s men looking out of the Premier League title race as things stand, full focus will be put into their pursuit of back-to-back Champions League triumphs.

Lille haven’t been too convincing lately, and they lost 5-1 to PSG a few weeks ago. The Blues have enough attacking talent to do a similar job on the French side, so Chelsea -1 on the Handicap market is our selection, and the Evens available (Sportnation) on that looks a good bit of value.

Chelsea Form, squad news, opinion

It’s been a fairly mixed start to the year for Tuchel’s Chelsea side. After several draws in December, they’ve started 2022 by dropping points against Liverpool, Manchester City and Brighton in the league. It means they’ve slipped out of the domestic title picture, but there’s been positives elsewhere for the Blues.

A semi-final win over London rivals Tottenham means their place in the League Cup final is booked, and it was a successful trip to the United Arab Emirates as they lifted the Club World Cup trophy.

The Champions League latest odds has them at 8/1 to retain Europe’s most prestigious club trophy.

Tuchel’s side have been a tad disjointed in recent weeks compared to the solidity they showed at the start of the term, but football is a results business, and Chelsea are still picking up important wins.

Their exploits in the Middle East will give them a good deal of momentum heading into the business end of the season, and they shouldn’t have much of an issue seeing off a vulnerable Lille side.

Reece James is edging closer to a return to first team action and could feature in this one.

Lille Form, squad news, opinion

The shining light of Lille’s campaign so far has been their Champions League exploits. After winning Ligue 1 last term, they’ve struggled as defending champions and currently sit 10th in the league.

In the group stages of this tournament, though, they topped the standings in Group G, where they were joined by Salzburg, Sevilla and Wolfsburg.

They managed standout away victories in both Spain and Germany but taking on the current champions of Europe in their own backyard won’t be an easy challenge.

Prior to their clash against Metz, Lille have won two of their last six games, and their consistency from last season just hasn’t been there this time around.

Isaac Lihadji and Renato Sanches are both set to miss this one for the visitors. The pair are expected back around the end of the month, though, so should be fit for the return leg.

History

This will be just the third time the two sides have met. The pair faced each other in the Champions League group stages back in the 2019/20 season. Chelsea won both of those games by two goals to one.

About the Venue

Stamford Bridge was built in 1876 before opening the following year. It’s a fairly intimate stadium considering its size, and it holds a maximum of 41,837 supporters.

There’s been several plans for a ‘redeveloped’ Stamford Bridge over the years - that include building a new stadium altogether - but they were shelved for the time being back in 2018.

Conclusion

Lille may be the reigning Ligue 1 champions, but they aren’t playing at that same level this season. Chelsea should prove too superior for them - especially in this home leg - and it’s likely to turn into a fairly straightforward evening for the Blues.

The visitors do have some strong Champions League performances to their name this campaign, but the knockout stages usually brings an extra gear from teams, and Chelsea certainly have the edge when it comes to quality.

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