Julen Lopetegui relishing challenge against ‘best attacking team in England’

By Nick Purewal, PA
·1-min read

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, leaving Lopetegui 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.”