Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui has hailed Chelsea as the Premier League’s best attacking team ahead of Wednesday’s meeting between the sides in Spain.
Lopetegui claimed before his team’s Group E opener at Stamford Bridge in October that Frank Lampard’s Blues were among the favourites for the Champions League title, and he has not changed his mind.
Both sides have already secured qualification for the knockout stage and head into the encounter battling to top the pool. And Lopetegui is excited by a stern examination of his team’s credentials.
“It’s a huge and exciting challenge against a team who could win the Champions League,” the former Spain coach said.
“They are the best attacking team in England at the moment, they have great players.
“It’s a real excitement to play against them and it motivates us to play our best.”
Sevilla and Chelsea battled to a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge on October 20, with both sides having won their other two matches to cement their places in the last 16.
Lopetegui admitted Sevilla must leave it to the last minute to assess their line-up, given the stresses of a compacted season owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We want to keep working and growing as a team against a very strong opponent who we’ll need to be at our absolute best to beat,” he added.
“I see the team working every day, they’re trying their best in spite of the difficult of this season and the injuries we have.
“We’ve got a number of absentees but we are coping.”
Lampard to make changes
Meanwhile, Frank Lampard, who welcomes Billy Gilmour back into the fold, says he will rotate his squad in Spain.
“I don’t expect a drop in level, but there will be an opportunity for some players to get some minutes,” said the Blues boss.
“We want to win the group for different reasons, obviously your pathway through would be the beneficial position.
“Also in terms of motivation, those players that haven’t played so many minutes, their motivation is to try to show why they should be in the starting XI.
“I have different choices, and it’s an opportunity for players to give me more difficult choices moving forward.
“And as a collective, we’re on a good run, we haven’t lost since Liverpool which was a difficult game for us because of circumstances that happened in the game.
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