Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas has tipped Frank Lampard to err on the side of caution over how he will tackle an ‘awkward’ Champions League clash with Ligue 1 side LOSC Lille on Wednesday night.
Chelsea go into the Group H encounter above their French opponents solely on goal difference after Christophe Galtier’s Les Dogues were beaten 3-0 by Ajax while Valencia CF laid claim to a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge.
Lille are unbeaten in their last four Ligue 1 encounters at home, however, and have scored at least two goals in each fixture held at the Stade Pierre Mauroy.
Galtier’s side were held to a scored draw away to OGC Nice last time out, however, but Nicholas feels Les Dogues have every capability of causing Chelsea problems.
The former Celtic and Arsenal striker feels Lampard will have decisions to make going into the clash as well, as the Blues boss will likely be undecided over how he will field his promising young core.
“This is a very awkward tie,” Nicholas wrote in his Champions League predictions column for Sky Sports. “I am trying to work out how Frank Lampard goes about this.
“When is the right time to put all of these youngsters in together? If he can use them, he would much prefer to use them at home. After being on a high, you do not want to flip the switch and raise question marks. He will go with a solid base I think for that reason.
“Lille drew 1-1 away at Nice at the weekend and are sitting pretty comfortable in fourth, so this is a test for Chelsea. I think they may get something from this, but it will be a more experienced Chelsea side that we see.”
Nicholas predicted a 1-1 draw as the result of Chelsea’s second Group H encounter of the term, which would mark an improvement on the result the Blues achieved against Valencia, but will not be the result Lampard is targeting.
After the manner in which they lost to Valencia, Chelsea will likely go against Nicholas’ suggestion of playing it cautiously and look to stamp their mark on the Champions League with Ajax potentially ending the night further clear at the top if the West London outfit fail to win again.
They were not afraid to tackle Liverpool in the Premier League upon the Reds’ trip to Stamford Bridge, and the only negative Lampard took from beating Brighton & Hove Albion was that his side could not score more than the two they achieved (Chelsea TV, via Metro).
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Chelsea fans, should Lampard go all guns blazing against Lille, or is Nicholas right to tip your head coach to play with caution? Let us know in the comments below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more Chelsea notifications!
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