Chelsea can almost guarantee their place in the knockout stages with two wins in their next two fixtures against Rennes and they should have absolutely no problems securing the first of those on Wednesday night. Frank Lampard’s side seem to have turned a corner from a defensive point of view in recent weeks; keeping four clean sheets in their last four games, even if they have sacrificed their attacking threat in bigger games against Sevilla and Manchester United.
But the fact that Chelsea look more solid at the back is undeniable, and they should go into this one full of confidence. Rennes, meanwhile, have won just one of their last five games (a 2-1 victory in their last game against Brest) and their early-season momentum in Ligue 1 appears to have dissipated.
Chelsea have not been great by any means this season, but there are signs that some of their marquee summer signings are beginning to show encourage signs and, in reality, they are levels above Rennes. This should be a comfortable home win.
Timo Werner is beginning to find his groove after a relatively slow start to the season that can almost definitely be attributed to the fact that he had to adapt to a new team and a new league. However, the German forward has shown glimpses of class in the past five games, finding the back of the net four times.
His two goals in the home draw with Southampton were exceptional and the German will be keen to string a run of goalscoring games together, having netted in his last two games.
Chelsea are likely to dominate possession and territory at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night and Werner should have plenty of chances to continue his good form in front of goal.
Chelsea have proved in recent weeks that they can simultaneously be miserly in defence and creative in attack against lesser opposition. The Blues scored seven and conceded none in their two comfortable wins against Krasnodar and Burnley after toiling in front of goal in successive scoreless draws against Manchester United and Sevilla.
Lampard’s side are brimming with attacking talent, with the likes of Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz slowly starting to live up to their price tags. Lampard is likely to rotate against Rennes on Wednesday, but he boasts a significant amount of talent in reserve and Chelsea could find themselves among the goals again.
Chelsea might have tightened things up in their porous defence, but they have still conceded a decent number of chances. Manchester United were denied several times by Edouard Mendy in the Old Trafford stalemate, while Krasnodar peppered Mendy’s goal in last week’s Champions League game.
Burnley failed to register a single shot on target on Saturday, but this is Burnley we’re talking about, after all. Chelsea are likely to throw the shackles off again on Wednesday and it’s not difficult to imagine Rennes landing at least three efforts on target in 90 minutes.
*All prices correct at time of publishing but may change. Odds are bang up to date on our snazzy widgets, though
Chelsea v Rennes tips
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