Chelsea to Progress in Champions League

Following the 2-1 win away to Rennes in the week, Chelsea confirmed their spot in the round of 16. With both Chelsea and Sevilla on 10 points with two matches left to play, both will progress from Group E.

While Chelsea and Sevilla will both progress, the fight to be the top of the group is still on. This means the next Wednesday’s match – where Sevilla will host Chelsea – is crucial. The last time these teams met was on the Champions League’s opening matchday. The teams couldn’t be split as it ended 0-0. After the Sevilla matchup, Chelsea will finish the group off when they host Russian team FC Krasnodar.

Far too close. A late Olivier Giroud winner saw Chelsea nab the points Away to Rennes. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED: SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

Chelsea’s approach

With Sevilla up next for Chelsea, they need a win. A draw might be ok, but only if Rennes can do them a favour by holding Sevilla to a point at most in the final match. That would be risky though, and Frank Lampard’s men would want to have top spot all sewn up before the Krasnodar match.

Assuming Chelsea beat Sevilla, the Krasnodar match will mean very little for them. It may still hold importance for Krasnodar with a Europa League spot up for grabs between them and Rennes.

In the four matches Chelsea have already played, Timo Werner has been the star turn with three goals and one assist. Even if he should have made it four against Rennes with that miss from point blank.

The defence has also shone. With Edouard Mendy’s concession of one goal and save percentage of .917 only bettered across the Champions League by Liverpool duo Alisson and Adrián.

Supreme reflexes to get the left hand back out to the ball while falling off to the right. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED: WE AIN’T GOT NO HISTORY

After the Group Stage

After the group stage has been completed, the draw for the round of 16 will take place on Monday, December 14. Teams will be sorted into two pots. One for teams that top their group, and one for teams that finish second. This ensures that two teams that won their respective groups don’t play each other until at least the quarter-final stage.

In last season’s Champions League, Chelsea finished second in Group H and drew Group B winners Bayern Munich for the round of 16. Bayern would defeat Chelsea 7-1 on aggregate.

So far, joining Chelsea and Sevilla in having already qualified for the round of 16 are Manchester City from Group C and Barcelona and Juventus from Group G.

Bayern Munich look certain to top Group A, while FC Porto are just one point away from joining Manchester City in getting out of Group C. Liverpool and Ajax will likely progress from Group D, with only Atalanta offering any sort of threat.

Borussia Dortmund will move beyond Group F, while Club Brugge could still overtake Lazio for second spot. The final group sees Manchester United on top – and seeming like that’s where they’ll stay – while PSG and RB Leipzig are level on points in their battle for second.

At this stage, the only teams to progress we know for certain Chelsea will not play in the round of 16, are the other EPL teams – due to country protections preventing teams from the same domestic league playing each other before the quarter final stage – and Sevilla. So who Chelsea’s possible opponent remains wide open.

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