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Lille v Chelsea betting tips: Champions eye quarter-final spot

| 14.03.2022

Lille v Chelsea betting tips and odds

Troubled Chelsea head to France just needing to avoid a two-goal defeat or worse against Lille to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Goals from Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic sealed a 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge and the defending champions are 10/11 for a repeat win in the second leg of their round-of-16 tie.

Thomas Tuchel’s side have things other than football on their minds, so let’s look at some of the main talking points, markets and odds in our Lille v Chelsea betting tips.

Lille v Chelsea form

Tuchel confirmed he would stay as Chelsea manager until at least the end of the season after Havertz struck a minute from time to secure a 1-0 win against Newcastle at the weekend.

The club’s owner Roman Abramovich had all his UK assets frozen by the government last week – barring Chelsea – in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and his ties with president Vladimir Putin.

The sanction-hit club is operating under a special licence to operate and its sale is being overseen by the government, so it is a turbulent time for the west Londoners.

Despite their problems, Chelsea have won their last five Premier League games, conceding just once in that spell, so we go 21/10 on the visitors winning to nil or 19/4 on winning both halves as they did in the first leg.

Chelsea don’t exactly need to bust a gut on Wednesday night, but they have relative freedom to go for the jugular with Middlesbrough awaiting them in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup before the international break.

French champions Lille topped a group containing RB Salzburg, Sevilla and Wolfsburg despite scoring just seven goals, conceding just four times.

Their defence has been particularly stingy since losing 5-1 at home to PSG in the first week of February, keeping five consecutive clean sheets, although they shared goalless draws with bottom-three sides St Etienne and Metz, and their three wins came against teams 10th or below.

That unbeaten run has lifted them to sixth in the Ligue 1 table, so with their defence looking strong, admittedly against some of the weaker teams in the French top flight, an away win and under 3.5 goals looks a possibility at 31/20.

A draw can be backed at 12/5, while a goalless encounter is available at 17/2 in our Lille v Chelsea betting tips.

Lille v Chelsea head to head

In the first leg, Tuchel took Romelu Lukaku out of the firing line having registered a Premier League-low seven touches in the 1-0 win at Crystal Palace on the previous weekend.

However, the Belgium striker was hardly missed as Havertz and Pulisic shone at Stamford Bridge.

Lukaku has yet to start a Premier League game since then and was on the bench for the Carabao Cup final against Liverpool, although he came on for the final quarter of an hour of normal time.

Havertz has been in great form in recent weeks and settled the Blues’ nerves with an eighth-minute opener last month.

The visitors can be backed at 24/5 to be ahead after a quarter of an hour or 13/2 to bag their first goal inside the first 10 minutes.

Chelsea are 21/10 to be leading at the break and full-time, but we prefer Draw HT/Chelsea FT at 17/5 in this market bearing in mind how difficult Lille were to break down during the group stage and in Ligue 1 recently.

Key Battles

Chelsea are expected to line up in a 4-3-3 formation in which Andreas Christensen could move from the heart of defence to right-back as a replacement for Trevoh Chalobah who was lucky not to concede a penalty against the Magpies.

Thiago Silva is likely to return alongside Antonio Rudiger, but Tuchel could stick with his midfield of Mason Mount, N’Golo Kante and Jorginho, with Havertz spearheading the attack supported by Hakim Ziyech and Pulisic.

Lille coach Jocelyn Gourvennec may stick with a 4-2-3-1 system in which former Newcastle star Hatem Ben Arfa could play in the heart of midfield, but the absence of Renato Sanches means he could switch to a 4-4-2.

Despite Chelsea’s victory, the possession stats were just about equal and the visitors won the shot count 15-9, although the Blues had more on target (4-2).

Lille’s problem is scoring goals and their 37 is the second lowest of teams in the top half of the table, so the pressure is on Jonathan David to deliver up front.

Lille v Chelsea team news

Reece James and Ben Chilwell are out for Chelsea, while Cesar Azpilicueta and Callum Hudson-Odoi are doubtful having missed the game at the weekend.

Lille are without ex-Bayern Munich and Swansea loanee Sanches, who picked up an injury at the weekend which will rule the midfielder out for three weeks, so Timothy Weah could step into the breach.

The French team have otherwise a clean bill of health and Gourvennec is confident his players can provide a stern test for the European champions.

He said: “It’ll be a completely different game. We had a very good match in the first leg, but we’ll have the home fans behind us, and we need them. We need them to create doubt.”

Goalscorer odds

Havertz has scored four goals in his last three Premier League appearances and is 4/1 to break the deadlock or 13/8 to get on the score sheet at any time, the same prices as Lukaku who is likely to start on the bench.

Pulisic is 5/1 and 21/10 in the two markets and Ziyech is slightly longer at 11/2 and 23/10, the same odds as Mount who scored his first goal since mid-December in a 3-1 win at Norwich.

Jorginho looks an interesting option at 9/1 to grab the game’s opener and we should not dismiss Chelsea’s defenders who love to get in on the goalscoring act.

Silva and Rudiger are 16/1 and 25/1 respectively to draw first blood or 6/1 and 9/1 to score in Wednesday’s Lille v Chelsea betting tips.

For Lille, David is the favourite at 6/1 to get the ball rolling, though he has scored just once in his last seven appearances.

Weah and Jonathan Bamba are both 11/1 to bag the opener or 9/2 and 4/1 respectively to find the net, while Ben Arfa is 7/2 to score his first goal of the season.

Match info

Where: Stade Pierre Mauroy

When: 20:00, Wednesday 22nd March

How to watch: BT Sport

View the latest Champions League odds

All odds and markets correct as of date of publication

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Author

Warren Barner