Top and bottom of Group E clash in the Champions League on Wednesday as Chelsea and Rennes meet for the first time (8pm kick-off).
Frank Lampard’s men play host to the French club and enter this match with a win and a draw on the table, which currently places them above Sevilla in the group on goal difference.
The Blues will be eager to follow up from an impressive Premier League win over Burnley on Saturday, which has extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to six games, the past four of which have brought clean sheets including two in Europe.
Rennes, meanwhile, have made an impressive start to the Ligue 1 season, with Julien Stephan’s side currently third after nine games, but that form has not followed them into the Champions League.
The Red and Blacks have just the single point on the board, owing to a tame 1-1 draw with Krasnodar in the opening game, and they are currently on a five-match losing streak away from home in major European competitions.
Where to watch Chelsea vs Rennes on TV:
- UK: BT Sport 2
- US: CBS All Access
Where to live stream Chelsea vs Rennes:
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Chelsea & Rennes’s previous line-ups:
- Chelsea (vs Burnley): Mendy; James, Zouma, Silva, Chilwell; Havertz, Kante, Mount; Ziyech, Abraham, Werner.
- Rennes (vs Brest): Gomis; Traore, Da Silva, Aguerd, Dalbert; Nzonzi; Del Castillo, Lea Siliki, Terrier, Doku; Guirassy.
Christian Pulisic was injured during the warm-up in the Burnley game and now awaits a scan on his hamstring to determine the extent of his layoff. Kepa Arrizabalaga is expected to return to the matchday squad after suffering a shoulder injury, while Thiago Silva could be rested.
Teenage wonderkid Eduardo Camavinga is currently out of action for Rennes and faces a late fitness test, while they will also travel to west London without Daniele Rugani, Faitout Maouassa, Flavien Tait and M’Baye Niang.
Players to watch:
- Chelsea: One of the biggest criticisms aimed at Lampard during his spell as Chelsea boss is his porous backline. The club legend has had a few teething issues trying to repair a somewhat disjointed defence and stop the goals leaking in. He has managed to tighten things up in recent games, with four consecutive clean sheets, and part of that defensive resurgence has been goalkeeper Edouard Mendy. Signed from Wednesday’s opponents over the summer, Mendy faces his former club and will be eager to extend his current team’s clean sheet run against an old friend.
- Rennes: It is a shame that Camavinga is a major doubt for this contest. Much has been documented about the teenage wunderkind and fans would have loved to catch a glimmer of the 17-year-old in action on English soil. In his place Stephan will be turning to a player very familiar to Premier League fans and someone who packs bundles of experience. Steven Nzonzi has faced Chelsea on 11 occasions during spells at Stoke and Blackburn. He has two wins in that time, with the last coming in 2013, and he will be determined to improve upon a somewhat underwhelming record against the Blues.