Chelsea enters its Champions League Round of 16 clash with Bayern Munich as a home underdog in the first leg on Tuesday, as the Blues will host the German side at Stamford Bridge.
FanDuel Sportsbook sees Bayern as a -130 road favorite, with Chelsea fetching relatively long +330 odds of grabbing the win at home.
Lampard: Chelsea Can Compete With Bayern
Chelsea would be the underdog in this matchup even under the best of circumstances. Throw in the fact that Christian Pulisic, N’Golo Kante, and Callum Hudson-Odoi are unavailable for the match, and the English side’s task becomes all the more daunting.
But manager Frank Lampard wants his team to embrace its underdog status, saying that his squad should feel as though it is in with a chance against the German powerhouse.
“When you look at their team, the talent they have, the medals they have, the experience they have … maybe we don’t have that experience,” Lampard said in a press conference. “But it’s there to turn it around, to overcome being the underdog. Those are the best stories in sport. I understand if people call us the underdogs because Bayern are so strong. A big part of my job is to explain to the players that over two legs, we need to be at our maximum.”
Bayern is once again standing atop the Bundesliga, though they are just one point ahead of RB Leipzig in what is shaping up to be a tight title race. Much of its success this season owes to Robert Lewandowski, who has been on a scoring tear. The 31-year-old Polish striker has found the back of the net 10 times so far in Champions League play this season.
“Robert, at the moment, is playing in the form of his life, he’s top-fit and full of confidence,” Bayern manager Hansi Flick told reporters. “He has a real run at the moment, and we hope that he will continue that here in the last 16 against Chelsea.”
Setien Wary of Napoli Champions League Danger
Tuesday’s other Champions League matchup sees Barcelona travel to Italy to take on Napoli. The Spanish side is also a road favorite, though not as overwhelmingly as Bayern. Barcelona comes in as a +115 pick to walk away with the win, while Napoli is a +230 underdog to successfully defend its home turf.
Napoli has already proven they can be dangerous in Champions League play, however, with Barcelona coach Quique Setien saying that he expects nothing but the best from the Italian side.
“All teams tend to do their best [against us],” Setien told reporters. “I’m expecting the best Napoli. We have already seen what they are capable of doing, overcoming big rivals. Now they will give us an extraordinary version.”
The return matches for the Champions League Round of 16 ties will take place in March. Two more matchups will begin on Wednesday, as Real Madrid takes on Manchester City and Lyon faces Juventus.