Chelsea to march on in Europe at Lille's expense

Chelsea's second place finish in Group H meant that they face Group G winners Lille in the round-of-16. Their European title defence begins on Tuesday night on home soil against a Lille side who have struggled for form since the turn of the new year.

Results are flowing, but goals are not

Thomas Tuchel's side, who were recently crowned Club World Cup champions, still sit somewhat comfortably in third spot in the league, threatening neither to drop into fourth not challenge the top two.

Last three Champions League results:

Malmo 0-1 Chelsea (02.11.21)

Chelsea 4-0 Juventus (23.11.21)

Zenit 3-3 Chelsea (08.12.21)

In European competition, Chelsea seemed to have found a knack of turning up and getting a result. This was also the case domestically at the weekend, where it took a last minute Hakim Ziyech winner to triumph against Crystal Palace.

Their performance at Selhurst Park was worrying, with Romelu Lukaku still looking a shadow of his former self. But once again, the result goes the Blues' ways and they stay on this five-game winning streak across all competitions.

Lille struggling this season

While they were able to top their Champions League group, Jocelyn Gourvennec's side have been in pretty dire form in the league, sitting just 11th in their Ligue 1 title defence season.

Last three Champions League results:

Sevilla 1-2 Lille (02.11.21)

Lille 1-0 RB Salzburg (23.11.21)

Wolfsburg 1-3 Lille (08.12.21)

Lille were able to end their Champions League group stage matches with a flurry of wins, making up for taking just two points from their first three Champions League group stage games.

Their 0-0 draw with second bottom side Metz at the weekend spells even more trouble for the title holders in Ligue 1. They had some impressive results in the second half of their group stage fixtures, but this will be easily their toughest match of the campaign so far.

Some interesting trivia:

- The only two times these two sides have met in the Champions League was in the 2019-20 campaign, when Chelsea won over both legs, winning 2-1 each time.

- Chelsea have only lost one of their previous 10 home European matches against French opposition.

- This is Lille's ninth time playing English opposition in the Champions League. They have won just once, back in 2005 against Manchester United.

The Verdict

While Chelsea haven't put in the most vintage of performances in recent games, their results haven't wavered. Compare that to Lille's recent form, and Chelsea really should cruise to a win here, particularly on home turf.

That's why I'm going with boosted odds with bet365 for Chelsea-Chelsea (Half-Time/Full-Time).

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