Lille boss Jocelyn Gourvennec is adamant his side are not heading to Stamford Bridge to make up the numbers as they look to cause an upset against Chelsea (Chelsea 3/10, draw 9/2, Lille 11/1 – Match Betting).
The French champions have struggled to reach the heights of last season, when they shocked big spenders Paris Saint-Germain to win the Ligue 1 title.
Down in the 11th place in the top flight across the Channel, Lille have still managed to battle their way to the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Preparing to face the reigning European champions in the last-16 first leg on Wednesday night, Gourvennec has spoken of his respect for Chelsea (8/1 Champions League outright) but his side are still going to west London with aims to wreck the party.
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“We are competitors so we will not be going there just to be Chelsea’s sparring partners, that’s for sure,” Gourvennec said.
“They are a great team but there are always surprises in cup matches and we want to be the party poopers, as we have been since the beginning of this Champions League campaign.”
He added: “We need to try to create chances, but we will need to really be at a high level and raise our game.”
Gourvennec has no fresh injury concerns to contend with ahead of Lille’s trip to The Bridge this week.
As for Chelsea, the game might well come too soon for England international Mason Mount (ankle injury), while defender Cesar Azpilicueta should be fit to feature after recovering from a groin problem.
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