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Team News: Chelsea vs Lille

Toni Rudiger returns to the Chelsea side for the first time since September.

The German comes straight into the starting XI having not featured for almost three months after groin problems. Tonight he is joined at centre-back by Kurt Zouma.

Emerson and Jorginho are also back in the team, with Reece James and Mason Mount making way.

On arrival at the stadium, Frank Lampard explained the thinking behind his team selection. ‘Rudiger is someone we’ve worked hard on to get fit and we’ve missed him,' he said.

'I know how good he’s been here so it’s good to get him back in the team and he’s ready. With Jorginho and Emerson, there’s a bit of experience but also a bit of freshness. We’ve had a lot of games in the last couple of weeks so I’m very aware of that – they’ve got some big-game experience I hope.’

For Lille, Loic Remy starts against his former club.  

Chelsea Kepa, Azpilicueta (c), Rudiger, Zouma, Emerson, Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic, Willian, Abraham, Pulisic.

Subs Caballero, Christensen, James, Barkley, Mount, Hudson-Odoi, Batshuayi.

Lille Maignan (c), Celik, Djalo, Gabriel, Pied, Xeka, Soumare, Maia, Yusuf Yazici, Remy, Araujo. 

Subs Cesar, Fonte, Bamba, Bradaric, Sanches, Ikone, Osimhen.


Group H scenario - who needs what to qualify?

Chelsea will go through if we beat Lille, or if we draw and Valencia lose to Ajax.

Ajax will go through if they draw, or if Chelsea fail to beat Lille.

Valencia will go through if they beat Ajax, or as long as they finish at least level on points with Chelsea due to their superior head-to-head record.


Chelsea's recent European form

Chelsea have lost just one of our last 20 games in Europe (14 wins, five draws) in a run that includes winning the Europa League last season; our only defeat was on matchday one of this Champions League campaign at home to Valencia.

Chelsea have only lost twice in our last 15 Champions League group stage games (eight wins, five draws), with one of those defeats coming against Valencia this season.

Lille are the fifth different French opponent that Chelsea have faced in European competition, all in the Champions League (six wins, five draws, six defeats). The other four were Marseille, Monaco, PSG and Bordeaux.

We have only lost one of our eight previous home games against French sides, although that was our most recent game, a 1-2 loss to PSG in March 2016.

Lille statistics

This is Lille’s sixth appearance in the Champions League group stage and their first since 2012/13. Only one of those previous five campaigns has extended into the knockout rounds, in 2006/07. Seven years ago they finished bottom of a section including Bayern Munich, Valencia and BATE Borisov.

Before this season, Lille’s six Champions League matches against English opposition all came against Manchester United, with the French side winning one, drawing two and losing three. In all competitions including matchday two, Lille have failed to score in five of their last seven matches against English teams.

Lille’s only win in six away games at English sides across all European competitions came at Aston Villa in the Intertoto Cup in August 2002 (2-0) – they have failed to score in each of their other five such matches in England (one draw, four defeats).

Lille’s most recent European appearance came in 2016/17 and lasted one tie, Gabala of Azerbaijan running out 2-1 aggregate winners in the Europa League third qualifying round.

Lille have lost five of their last six Champions League fixtures, drawing the other against Valencia in October.

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