Pressure on as Chelsea told why they’re favourites in Champions League


Rennes manager Julien Stephan has heaped pressure on Chelsea ahead of their Champions League meeting by claiming Frank Lampard’s side are one of the favourites for the competition.

Chelsea will host Rennes at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday in their third group match. And visiting manager Stephan is tipping the Blues to go all the way in the tournament.

Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui threw his weight behind Chelsea’s Champions League chances ahead of the teams’ goalless Group E draw in west London last month, and now Stephan has followed suit.

Blues boss Frank Lampard shrugged off Lopetegui’s praise as a standard pre-match tactic to talk up an opponent and will doubtless view Stephan’s words in much the same way.

Stephan said: “They are in the competition at March and April all the time.

“They are one of the favourites and can go very far in the competition, I’m convinced of it.

“They have invested millions, including in Thiago Silva.”


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Rennes short of options for Chelsea visit

Rennes have brought a young squad to London for Wednesday’s clash. Eduardo Camavinga, M’Baye Niang and Daniele Rugani will all be missing out.

Stephan insisted he had little choice but to bring a clutch of youth talents to Stamford Bridge, but threw his support behind all those in the mix to feature against the Blues.

“We have many players out injured but some of those young players train with us daily,” said Stephan.

“They are an integral part of the club’s project. We have to dip into the young players, it helps their development.”


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