Frank Lampard and his driven team kick off the UEFA Champions League season tomorrow as they prepare to host defending champion, Sevilla.
Champions League nights are finally back!
The Champions League season isn't over in more than two months, but it seems like two months is too long. However, tomorrow we can experience the Champions League in all its glory once again when Sevilla travels to Stamford Bridge in London to face Chelsea as part of the first week of matches of the campaign.
Frank Lampard's men suffered a difficult draw last season as Valencia, Lille and Ajax competed with them to qualify. Chelsea managed to escape but fell to Bayern Munich's Hansi Dieter Flick in the round of 16. The Bavarian giants showed no mercy to the Blues when they scored seven goals in two games, conceding just one.
On the other hand, Sevilla had more successes in Europe last season, landing some of the best teams in Europe such as Wolverhampton Wanderers, Manchester United, and Inter Milan to win their sixth European League Cup. It was the perfect swan song for Ever Banega, who was one of the best players in the competition.
Team news and tactics
Frank Lampard has no new worries ahead of Chelsea's opening game in this season's UEFA Champions League, but in reality, Thiago Silva will return to that game after missing the weekend's game against Southampton. But Edward Mindy has not yet recovered and will have to watch the game from the bench.
Kepa Arrizabalaga put on another horror show against The Saints, teamed up with Kurt Zouma to help the visitors score their second goal in the afternoon. Lampard has shown throughout his managerial career that he doesn't make such mistakes, and hopefully, Willy Caballero will replace the Spaniard at six yards.
Thiago Silva will start alongside Andreas Christensen in center defense, hoping to start his European season with a victory. Ben Chilwell will join the pair from the left-back, which will be his first Champions League game for Chelsea, and only the third of his career. Reece James will run the show from the right.
Mateo Kovacic had a break at the weekend and was unable to sit on the bench. He would replace Jorginho in the double-axis, along with N'Golo Kante, who also had multiple doubts about head injuries.
Finally, in the attack, as part of the four forwards, Kai Havertz is expected to play for nothing. 10 role, serving as the backbone of the crime. Christian Pulisic and Timo Werner are expected to maintain their place in the team. Mason Mount, who will be making his first outing with the Blues, will replace the glamorous Amsterdam - Hakim Ziyech - who received his official debut on Saturday. It will be placed on the right side of Havertz.
Possible alignment (4-2-3-1): Caballero; James Christensen Silva Chilwell; Kante, Kovacic; Gyash, havertz, polisic; Werner
Julián Lopetegui has some concerns of his own, starting with a midweek injury to Sergio Escudero, who had to get away from Marcos Acuña before the 20th minute. The Argentine was not quite fit, courtesy of the lack of a left-back in the team. The biggest complication, however, will be the absence of Jules Kounde, who tested positive for coronavirus in the middle of the week.
Sergi Gómez entered central defense to replace Conde but was substituted in the final five minutes when Sevilla chased the tie, but to no avail. Pilar will start Diego Carlos alongside Gómez, hoping to continue his impressive form. The duo will reveal Bono, who replaced Thomas Vaclick to be the man between the two ranks after his impressive campaign in the European League last season.
Captain Jesús Navas will take over on the right, hoping to build on Chelsea's poor record in the area with the help of crosses. Although Acuña does not fit well, he should fit on the left side of the four-legged defense.
Ivan Rakitic will be an important player for Sevilla in the Champions League this season, as he has a lot of experience in his time with Barcelona. It will start through the left hole in the middle, while Joan Jordan will keep the right hole. The Spaniard received a red card against Granada this weekend, so leaving him tomorrow is pointless. Fernando will keep his position as a midfielder.
Lopetegui's bet on the attacking trio did not pay off against Granada, as Carlos Fernández could not fire a single shot, much less.
Probable formation (4-3-3): Bonus; Navas, Gómez, Carlos, Acuña; Jordan, Fernando, Rakitic; Suso, de Jong, Ocampos