Chelsea one of favourites to win Champions League – Rennes boss Julien Stephan

By Nick Purewal, PA
·2-min read

Rennes boss Julien Stephan is the latest rival manager to install Chelsea as one of the Champions League favourites.

Chelsea will host Rennes at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, with visiting manager Stephan tipping the Blues to go all the way in the tournament.

Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui threw his weight behind Chelsea’s Champions League chances ahead of the teams’ goalless Group E draw in west London last month, and now Stephan has followed suit.

Blues boss Frank Lampard shrugged off Lopetegui’s praise as a standard pre-match tactic to talk up an opponent and will doubtless view Stephan’s words in much the same way.

“They are in the competition at March and April all the time,” said Stephan.

“They are one of the favourites and can go very far in the competition, I’m convinced of it.

“They have invested millions, including in Thiago Silva.”

Rennes have brought a young squad to London for Wednesday’s clash, with Eduardo Camavinga, M’Baye Niang and Daniele Rugani all missing out.

Stephan insisted he had little choice but to bring a clutch of youth talents to Stamford Bridge, but threw his support behind all those in the mix to feature against the Blues.

“We have many players out injured but some of those young players train with us daily,” said Stephan.

“They are an integral part of the club’s project. We have to dip into the young players, it helps their development.”