Chelsea welcome Rennes in the Champions League this evening as they look to strengthen their position of top spot in Group E.
The French side travel to the English capital looking to record their first ever victory in the group stages of this illustrious competition.
Chelsea Champions League form: DW
Chelsea form (all competitions): WDDDWW
Rennes Champions League form: DL
Rennes form (all competitions): WDDLLW
So far, the blues have four out of a possible six points after the first two match weeks in the Champions League. Chelsea still have much work to do in order to qualify for the last 16. However, the opening two results have left the pressure on tonights opponents.
Chelsea still have much work to do in order to qualify for the last 16, preferably as group winners, but their opening two results have left the pressure on their opponents heading into this match.
Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy will be in the headlines for this fixture after leaving Rennes for West London this summer. But, Lampard will not want to play down his no.1 recent performances and contributions from the rest of the squad.
Chelsea were heavily criticised following performances that lacked intensity and quality. Despite this, Frank Lampard has seen his side put together a nine-game unbeaten streak during normal time, only losing out to Tottenham Hotspur in the EFL Cup on penalties.
For Rennes, their fortunes are quite the opposite as they experienced a four-match winless run. But, the comeback 2-1 win in Ligue 1 has lifted the mood at the club and remain three points behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
Frank Lampard will be cautious of the threat that Rennes offer and knows a win tonight, it will put his Chelsea side in a commanding position to qualify from the group, potentially as group leaders with only three matches to be played.
Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Mendy; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rudiger, Emerson; Kante, Jorginho; Ziyech, Mount, Hudson-Odoi; Abraham
Rennes possible starting lineup:
Gomis; Traore, Da Silva, Aguerd; Dalbert; Bourigeaud, Nzonzi, Martin; Doku, Guirassy, Terrier
Timo Werner was a late edition to the blues starting XI away at Burnley because of an injury to Christian Pulisic in the warm-up. Lampard may opt to rest the German striker this evening as well as his fellow countrymen Kai Havertz.
Pulisic will remain out because of a hamstring injury which will give Callum Hudson-Odoi another opportunity to excel in the starting XI after he scored his first Champions League in match day two away at Krasnodar.
Besides resting his two German summer signings, Lampard could be tempted to rest Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell for tonight’s fixture, giving opportunities to Emerson and Antonio Rudiger who both have been given limited game time this season.
As for the away side, Rennes have received a double blow with loanee Daniele Rugani and promising midfielder Eduardo Camavinga both sidelined through injury.
However, former Premier League midfielder Steven Nzoni is available for selection after serving a European suspension last week.
Echo prediction: Chelsea 3-0 Rennes
Lampard will make changes to his starting XI that flourished on the weekend at Burnley. But, this game remains a must win and Rennes will come to the Bridge with a game plan which will make it difficult for the home side, making this a difficult fixture.
However, we expect Chelsea to come away with the three points and move away from the rest of the group, regardless of how many changes are made.