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Rennes vs. Chelsea, Champions League: Preview, team news, how to watch

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Match No.4 of the group stage campaign

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Chelsea v Rennes - UEFA Champions League - Group E - Stamford Bridge Photo by Ben Stansall/PA Images via Getty Images

Chelsea get an early kick-off at Rennes today, presumably because the other match in the group is taking place in far to the east in Krasnodar and UEFA want them played at the same time?

Either way, the important part is if both Chelsea and Sevilla win, both teams guarantee a spot in the knockout rounds. Accomplishing that mission with two games to spare would be most ideal in this ultra-congested season.

Date / Time: Tuesday, November 24, 2020, 17.55 GMT; 12:55pm EST; 11:25pm IST
Venue: Roazhon Park, Rennes, France
Referee: Björn Kuipers (on pitch); Pol van Boekel (VAR) — Kuipers is a familiar name with five Chelsea matches under his belt, including the 2013 Europa League final, though we haven’t seen him since our elimination from the 2014-15 Champions League at the hands of PSG, thanks to a Thiago Silva goal in extra time.
Forecast: Cool, with a slight breeze

On TV: BT Sport 3 (UK); Galavision (USA); Sony TEN 2 (India); SuperSport Maximo, Canal+ Sport 4 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: BT Sport Live (UK); CBS All Access, TUDNxtra (USA); Sony LIV (India); DStv Now (NGA) — if you’re in the US and you don’t want to subscribe to CBS because you’re not over 60 and/or don’t like Star Trek, you can also watch through Fubo TV, for which we have an affiliate link. That said, CBS does offer a free trial, and they will be carrying the Champions League for the next several years, so you might as well get used to their lack of actual television coverage. (I will eventually change this blurb, but not until the main CBS channel or even CBS Sports Network start showing things, and I don’t mean their “Golazo Show” or whatever they’re calling their NFL Red Zone-style nonsense. Thanks, CBS!)

Stade Rennais team news: Since losing 3-0 at Stamford Bridge, Rennes have continued their downwards spiral, losing 3-0 to PSG before the international break and losing 1-0 to Bordeaux at home over the weekend. Julien Stéphan’s men have now lost 5 of 6 in all competitions, thought they remain in decent position in the league thanks to their good start.

The same can’t be said for the Champions League campaign, which is hanging on by a thread. They need a win in this one to have any realistic hope of not finishing in the bottom two. Stéphan’s confident that their form will turn around eventually.

“We had worse periods last season than what we’re currently going through. We need to stick together, to rebuild our confidence. In the recent past, we’ve shown our ability to bounce back, there is no reason to panic.”

-Julien Stéphan; source: UEFA

Rennes will be without Dalbert, who was rather harshly sent off against Chelsea and is now suspended. Daniel Rugani remains out injured as well.

Chelsea team news: The full complement of Blues made the short journey across the Channel to Brittany, except for Christian Pulisic, who stayed behind to nurse his hamstring and hopefully be ready for the weekend.

The Blues are in great form at the moment, and not even the two-week international break could derail that. Saturday’s win was the fifth in a row, and the seventh clean sheet in our last eight. Except for a penalty shootout against Spurs, Chelsea have lost just once all season and are unbeaten in twelve.

All good streaks must come to an end, but until this one does, let’s enjoy it.

Previously: Chelsea got a bit lucky with the harsh refereeing against Dalbert, but otherwise, this one was a fairly comprehensive 3-0 victory. More of the same please!