Chelsea

Chelsea predicted lineup vs Lille - Champions League

Krishan Davis
The Champions League holders are back in action
The Champions League holders are back in action / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages
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Despite some significant off-field upheaval, Chelsea will look to keep their heads down and get the job done when they travel to face Lille in their Champions League last 16 second leg on Wednesday.

The holders are in control of the tie having comfortably despatched the Ligue 1 champions 2-0 in the first leg in late February - a lifetime ago given Roman Abramovich has since put the club up for sale and had sanctions imposed on him by the UK government following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Head coach Thomas Tuchel has joked that he will drive his side to northern France himself if the measures mean travel is impossible. Here's who could be on the plane/minibus...


1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Thiago Silva
Thiago Silva should return / Alex Livesey/GettyImages

Edouard Mendy (GK) - The one certainty when attempting to predict a Chelsea lineup under Tuchel (unless it's a domestic cup game).

Andreas Christensen (CB) - The smooth-passing Dane has been given minutes recently despite closing in on a move to Barcelona.

Thiago Silva (CB) - Given a rest against Newcastle at the weekend. The incredible Brazilian should rotate back in here after dominating the first leg.

Antonio Rudiger (CB) - In line for his 50th appearance in UEFA club competition.

2. Wing-backs & midfielders

Mateo Kovacic
Mateo Kovacic should rotate back in / Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

Cesar Azpilicueta (RWB) - Should recover from a bout of illness to start here. Chelsea are very short in the right wing-back position with Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi both out.

N'Golo Kante (CM) - Given the task at hand, Kante will be crucial in breaking up the play and carrying Chelsea forward whenever possible.

Mateo Kovacic (CM) - The Croatian should rotate in for Jorginho, with his skillset perhaps better suited to seeing out the tie with the Blues in complete control.

Marcos Alonso (LWB) - Returned to the bench at the weekend having recovered from Covid-19. Should be in good enough shape to start here.

3. Forwards

Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku has had to be patient of late / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Hakim Ziyech (RF) - The Moroccan was bang in form before a minor injury in the first leg. Made his comeback against Newcastle and still looked in good nick.

Romelu Lukaku (ST) - Kai Havertz is in the form of his Chelsea career so far, but given Chelsea's position of comfort in the tie it may well be a good opportunity to give Lukaku a start and get him firing.

Christian Pulisic (LF) - Had been increasingly influential before an illness. Came off the bench against Newcastle and should be in line to start in France.


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