1 October 2019

Lille v. Chelsea Preview  (Sky Sports)

N'Golo KanteTeam news, key stats and predictions as Chelsea travel to Lille in the Champions League group stages.

Team news

N'Golo Kante has been back in training ahead of the Champions League clash in France, having missed Saturday's 2-0 win against Brighton with a hamstring problem.

Also back involved were Kurt Zouma and Olivier Giroud (illness), but Antonio Rudiger, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Emerson Palmieri remain sidelined.

Timothy Weah remains the only injury doubt for Lille, as he continues his recovery from a hamstring tear.

Opta stats

Lille will be the fifth different French opponent that Chelsea have faced in European competition, with each of those 16 matches coming in the Champions League (W5 D5 L6).

Lille's six Champions League matches against English opposition all came versus Manchester United, with the French side winning just once (D2 L3). In all competitions, Lille have failed to score in five of their last six matches against English teams (W1 D1 L4).

Chelsea have won seven of their last 12 away group games in the Champions League (W7 D2 L3), keeping a clean sheet on seven occasions.

Lille are winless in eight Champions League home matches (D3 L5), since beating AEK Athens in October 2006 (3-1). Prior to this run, Lille were unbeaten in their first eight home matches in the competition (W3 D5).

Chelsea have lost their last two UEFA Champions League matches - they have never lost three in a row in the competition.

Lille's starting XI on MD1 against Ajax had an average age of 23 years and 277 days - their youngest average for a Champions League match and youngest of any side on MD1.

Chelsea have never previously lost their first two matches of a European campaign, losing 1-0 on MD1 at home to Valencia.

Charlie's prediction

This is a very awkward tie. I am trying to work out how Frank Lampard goes about this. When is the right time to put all of these youngsters in together? If he can use them, he would much prefer to use them at home. After being on a high, you do not want to flip the switch and raise question marks. He will go with a solid base I think for that reason.

Lille drew 1-1 away at Nice at the weekend and are sitting pretty comfortable in fourth, so this is a test for Chelsea. I think they may get something from this, but it will be a more experienced Chelsea side that we see.

CHARLIE PREDICTS: 1-1 (11/2 with Sky Bet)

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