Chelsea go into their third Champions League Group E fixture against French Ligue 1 side Rennes, opponents whom they have never met before in any competition.
A 0-0 draw at home to Sevilla in the first of Chelsea’s European fixtures saw Frank Lampard’s side begin a run of four matches in which they haven’t conceded a goal.
Many Chelsea supporters are heaping praise upon new goalkeeper Edouard Mendy for this statistic with the Senegalese international in action against his former side whom he left to begin a new chapter in his career at Stamford Bridge in September.
Another ex-Ligue 1 player who joined Chelsea in the last window, Thiago Silva, has also proved his worth and has been a major contributory factor in the improvement regarding the well documented defensive frailties that previously blighted Lampard’s attempts to see his side improve upon last season’s achievements.
However, the Brazilian didn’t make the long journey to Russia last week and it may well be the case that the manager is looking to maintain the 36-year old’s fitness for what he sees as the bread and butter of the domestic league campaign and use the defender sparingly with any European success regarded as a bonus.
Chelsea’s French opponents are currently enjoying some good form in Ligue 1 and are in third place in the table but go into Wednesday’s game in London after having taken just one point from their two Champions League matches after losing 1-0 in Spain to Sevilla and drawing 1-1 in the home game against Krasnodar.
I will join the overwhelming number of Chelsea supporters who were extremely pleased with the form that Mason Mount showed in the 3-0 win at Turf Moor and look forward to him performing in a similar manner against Rennes.
The social media bedwetters who bizarrely claim allegiance to Chelsea Football Club but seemingly cannot wait for the slightest mistake to be made by Mount or certain other of his teammates were extremely quiet after the England international’s latest display with the youngster singled out for special praise by BBC’s Match of the Day pundit Danny Murphy.
Along with that, the manager’s forecast at the start of this season that, although it would take a little time, he would ‘get it right’ seems to be holding up to scrutiny with his new acquisitions, particularly German Timo Werner and Moroccan Hakim Ziyech, proving to be fantastic purchases.
The Stamford Bridge faithful have also been cheered by the sight of Billy Gilmour returning to prominence on the training pitches of Cobham after the injury that cut short his debut season last July in the first game after the resumption of the Premier League programme following the Covid-19 enforced break.
However, the excitement at the re-emergence of the young Scot has been dampened by the news that USA international Christian Pulisic has suffered a hamstring injury, an affliction he picked up in the warm-up prior to last Saturday’s match against Burnley.
Nonetheless, there is sufficient depth within the Chelsea squad to be able to cope until the American is fit enough to return to first-team duty.
Boosted by a decent return after my prediction that Chelsea would win 3-0 win against Burnley, I’ll take a punt on a 2-0 win for The Blues against Rennes with Ziyech to score an anytime goal, which is currently available at 17.00 with FansBet.
About the Author
Londoner David Johnstone is a home, away and European away Chelsea supporter and has missed just six matches since 2001 (although he’s quick to state there are plenty of other supporters with better attendance records than him).
He has been involved with the fanzine scene at Chelsea since around 1991 and started the ‘cfcuk’ fanzine in 1999 which was, until Mr Abramovich bought the club in 2003, named ‘Matthew Harding’s Blue And White Army’.
David was also responsible for forming both the Chelsea Supporters’ Group and the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust which are the main two bodies that represent the followers of Chelsea FC and take their concerns to those running the club.
A founder of the highly regarded Chelsea FanCast weekly podcast (but is no longer involved) and responsible for the crowd surfing banners and supporter displays that are seen in the Matthew Harding Stand at Stamford Bridge on matchday.
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