Lampard challenges fringe players to shine v Sevilla


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - November 29, 2020 Chelsea manager Frank Lampard before the match Pool via REUTERS/Matthew Childs

LONDON (Reuters) - Frank Lampard will rotate his Chelsea team for Wednesday's Champions League Group E clash away to Sevilla and has challenged his fringe players to grab their chance.

With both sides on 10 points and assured of progress to the last 16, victory for either would clinch top spot.

"It's certainly not a dead rubber, we want to win the group," Lampard told reporters on Tuesday, saying Callum Hudson-Odoi and Billy Gilmour are likely to be involved.

"The motivation for the players is to show why they should be in the starting eleven. Some players have been playing a lot.

"It's been a hectic schedule. We have had players knocking on the door, but we won't take it lightly."

Forward Hudson-Odoi has struggled for first-team opportunities this season and was left out of the squad for Sunday's 0-0 draw against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.

"It was difficult to tell him that he wasn't in the Spurs squad as his attitude has been bang on," Lampard said of the 20-year-old. "He was bright against Rennes and Newcastle (United).

"I am aware of Callum and where he is at, he took it well but it wasn't and easy conversation.

"He is getting better and is back in contention and I want him to keep that going. I want him to stay positive."

Teenage midfielder Gilmour has not made a first-team appearance this season and had been troubled by a back injury.

"He is fit and he could probably do with some more match minutes," Lampard said. "He is in the squad tomorrow and it would be nice for him to get some minutes in these two group stages. He has a great attitude and will compete with the rest of the midfielders."

Chelsea drew 0-0 at home to Europa League winners Sevilla in October, and Lampard is respectful of the Spanish side who are currently fifth in La Liga.

"They are a fantastic team and they have a great coach. They remind me of a Premier League team with their attributes. I expect a tough match," Lampard said.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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