A late Hakim Ziyech goal saw Chelsea snatch all three points from Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday, though Thomas Tuchel won’t be overly enthralled by the performance, especially that of striker Romelu Lukaku, who’s seven touches over the ninety minutes is the fewest in recorded Premier League history.
The Belgian will be lucky to keep his place for this clash after that performance as Chelsea can’t afford to bow out at this stage given their draw.
While Lille certainly aren’t a poor side, Chelsea finishing second in their group could have yielded a much tougher draw, and they’ll be determined to not let their good fortune go to waste.
Lille haven’t made the best go of a title defence, currently sitting in the bottom half of the table as PSG seem to be a shoe in to regain the crown.
The French side haven’t made the best start to the year either with just two wins from seven outings so far, including being dumped out of the Coupe de France, with this now their only chance of Silverware, even if that remains very unlikely.
Under 2.5 Goals
While Lille won the last three matches of the group to claim top spot over Salzburg, Wolfsburg and Sevilla, they had been winless in 12 Champions League outings prior to that (including qualifiers), a run which included a brace of 2-1 defeats to Chelsea themselves in the 2019/20 group stage.
In fact, Lille are winless from all four of their Champions League outings in England (D1-L3) this century, though all three defeats have come by just a single goal and it wouldn’t be surprising to see this game be separated by fine margins.
Despite being newly crowned World Champions, Chelsea aren’t firing on all cylinders at the moment. Indeed, only one of their last eight matches have seen them win by more than a single strike, and they were taken to extra time by both Plymouth and Palmeiras.
With this being a two legged tie, and the removal of the away goals rule, we’d be surprised if this was a high scoring affair.
Lille won’t necessarily be pushing hard for that away goal, and Chelsea won’t be going the extra mile to put a few in the back of the net to try an negate a potential away goal.
All of the London side’s last eight matches have seen under 2.5 goals land over 90 minutes, while the same is true of each of Lille’s last three away encounters.
This tie won’t be won or lost after 90 minutes here, and we’d be surprised if either side went gung-ho here, so unders looks to hold the value again for us here.
UNDER 2.5 GOALS