Frank Lampard will be hoping his Chelsea side will capitalise on the situation and qualify for the next round of the Champions League to rest key players going into the festive period.
The former midfielder has made no secret at how difficult the scheduling is over Christmas and described the whole of December’s agenda as ‘brutal’.
A win in Brittany against Rennes could see them qualify if Sevilla get at least a draw away to Krasnodar – which could see Chelsea rotating the side heavily for the last two group games potentially.
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Lampard said: “Yeah. I’ve just looked at the schedule through December and it’s brutal. We’re doing a job we love and we want to play regularly, but some of the games around Christmas… I hope it changes.
“We’re due to play Arsenal on Boxing Day then Aston Villa two days later, when that game could easily be pushed back one or two days. I have to be aware of that.
“First and foremost we need to prepare right for this game to try to win it, which is going to be a really tough challenge, but of course if we were to make one step into the next round it would be an opportunity to look at players who need minutes, or to rest players.
“But we still want to win this group, and no matter the result tomorrow we still have to go to Seville the next game. I think it’s going to be competitive throughout, and I’m confident in the squad.
“Those things will come into our thinking.”
He added: “”I am fully focused on the challenge of Rennes because I think when you are in the Champions League playing against a team at the level of Rennes, who I was very impressed with when we played them at Stamford Bridge with 10 men, then you slip up.
“Everyone keeps saying if you get the result then you are through the group and it could be done. But if we get the wrong result then we make it a difficult…