Chelsea FC Team News vs Sevilla (UCL): Mendy, Silva, Gilmour

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The UEFA Champions League gets going tomorrow night with group stage action and Chelsea-Sevilla is one fixture that looks especially interesting on paper. The 2019-20 Europa League champions will take on the unofficial 2020 summer transfer window champs in southwest London.

The Blues head into this one feeling they left it short on the weekend, settling for a 3-3 draw with Southampton FC in a match where they easily should have won. They let two extra points slip right through their hands, so it will be interesting to see what kind of response they make here.

Sevilla at Chelsea FC Champions League Group E FYIs

Kickoff: Tues October 20, 8pm BST, Stamford Bridge, London

TV: BT Sport 3 (UK)

Streaming in USA: CBS All Access, TUDNxtra (in Spanish) and fuboTV (in Spanish)

Chelsea starting XI prediction: go to this link

Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, a summer signing from Rennes, has returned to training, and is now in contention. He missed the weekend league fixture with a thigh injury, so if this clash comes too soon, manager Frank Lampard must decide to stick with the struggling and under-sieged Kepa Arrizabalaga, or call on Willy Caballero.

The Spaniard yet another howler on Saturday. Elsewhere, central defender Thiago Silva is now available after missed the draw with Saints due to jet lag. Seriously, the cross hemisphere travel during international break is what kept him from being able to feature on the weekend.

Scottish midfielder Billy Gilmour remains a long term injury absentee, and he’s approximately three weeks or so away from being available again.

Finally, Hakim Ziyech could play a larger role in this one, after having made his return from injury, getting subbed late against the south coast club.

Flipping over to Sevilla, manager Julen Lopetegui has a nearly fully fit squad to select from. Talented young centre-back Jules Kounde, who has tested positive for COVID-19, is the only expected absentee.

sevilla

Prediction: Chelsea 3, Sevilla 2

Expect Lamps to get this group, largely reliant on a core of high-flying attacking players in the their early 20s, to get fired up and respond with authority here.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated, Chicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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