Sevilla hosts Chelsea in a battle for top spot in Group E.
It will be a much improved Chelsea side that visits the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán from the one we played in Matchday 1. Since that 0-0 draw on October 20th, they have gone unbeaten in 8 matches, with 6 wins & 2 draws. Also, they seemed to have solidified the defense, as they have only conceded 2 goals in that run. Contrasted with 18 goals in that sample of games, there are signs that Lampard’s team is increasingly growing into a tournament favourite. Having incorporated Ziyech & Abraham to the lineup, there are now many distinct threats in which the Blues can cause danger.
In the red corner, Sevilla was seen recovering from a rough end to October, to an ongoing run of 5 wins stemming from the start of November. We still haven’t witnessed an impressive 90 minutes from the team, but there are small indications that Lopetegui’s team is slowly getting back to playing at an elite level. Perhaps another test against a big team will speed up that process?
There are doubts over the fitness of Ocampos & De Jong, who had both trained separately from the squad yesterday. It may not be surprising to see some rotation, with a match against Real Madrid looming this weekend. But Lopetegui has assured that the desire is to finish top of the group, so a strong lineup is expected.
Absentees: Bono (illness), Acuña (injured), Escudero (injured), Suso (injured), Carlos Fernández (illness).
We are slowly growing in confidence with the way we’re achieving these results. This is definitely the best team we’re facing since the first meeting. It will truly be a test for our limited forward line, as Chelsea have taken great strides after having a leaky defense. It helps to have already qualified, to alleviate any unnecessary pressure. The perfect dress rehearsal for a very challenging month of December. Will the winning streak continue?