Prediction and odds for the game: Chelsea (1/3) vs Lille (17/2)
We are backing under 2.5 goals scored at odds of 11/10
When: Tuesday 22 February 2022, Kick-off 20:00
Where: Stamford Bridge
On Tuesday night, Chelsea host reigning French champions Lille at Stamford Bridge in the Champions League last-16 first leg.
The European champions will be confident of progressing from this tie after five straight wins in all competitions. Thomas Tuchel’s team followed up their success at the FIFA Club World Cup with a narrow 1-0 win at London rivals Crystal Palace at the weekend.
The win over the Eagles consolidated Chelsea’s position in the Premier League’s top-four, even if the team from the English capital are unlikely to challenge for the English top-flight title this season.
The Blues have a strong recent record in the Premier League, having recorded wins in six of their previous eight matches in European football’s elite competition. A 3-3 draw with Russian outfit Zenit in their last group game ended a three-match winning run for Tuchel’s team.
Chelsea have a strong recent home record in the Champions League, having recorded four straight European wins at Stamford Bridge. The Blues have also been solid in defence in the outings on home soil, keeping four straight clean sheets at home in the competition.
The reigning French champions have endured a difficult campaign after their shock title triumph last season. LOSC followed their sixth domestic title by losing some key members of personnel, mostly notably highly-rated head coach Christoph Galtier.
Some key players also left the French team, leaving them with far less quality in their squad than last season. Those exits have led to an inevitable downturn in fortunes for the visitors in the current campaign. They currently sit 11th place in the Ligue One table, nine points from the Champions League qualification spots in the French top-flight.
Their form in this competition has been the highlight of the season. Lille are now unbeaten in their last four Champions League outings, having picked up three wins and a draw. In fact, a 3-1 win at Wolfsburg in their last group game means that LOSC have claimed three straight victories in the competition.
Lille have had mixed fortunes on their travels in the Champions League though. Although they have won their last two away games in the competition, they had also suffered four straight away defeat in European football’s biggest competition.
It is hard not to fancy Chelsea to pick up a comfortable win in this clash. However, as they are the favourites the home win doesn’t offer great odds. Instead, we are backing Chelsea half-time/full-time, as the Blues should be in control of this encounter. It could be a tight clash, though, so we are also backing under 2.5 goals. The lack of goals in the home sides recent outings suggests that this won’t be a goal-fest.
Our Tips: We are backing Chelsea half-time/full-time at evens and/or under 2.5 goals scored at odds of 11/10. (All odds are taken from Bet365).
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Will Chelsea record a comfortable first-leg win or will Lille leave the English capital with a notable scalp?