Chelsea are currently in the third position in Group H of the Champions League with eight points ahead of the final game. However, their permutation to reach the knockouts is straightforward – a win over Lille should take them through regardless of the result in the other game in the group.
While the likes of Tammy Abraham, Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount are getting among the goals in the Premier league and in Europe, Olivier Giroud has been overlooked by Frank Lampard.
The coach’s decision to omit him raises questions at first glance, given the Frenchman scored 11 goals and created four in Chelsea’s Europa League winning campaign last season. The World Cup winner is a utility player even in games where he is unable to get his name on the score-sheet.
Giroud has started just two Premier League games this season and made three appearances off the bench. His only involvement in Europe saw him take the field for 17 minutes in Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat to Valencia.
This scenario is a deja vu for the 33-year-old who started only 11 Premier League games for Arsenal in his final full season at Arsenal (2016-17). He started just one Premier League game for the Gunners in the 2017-18 season before swapping for their London rivals in January last year.
Lampard is clear with his intentions for his team. He has made it a priority to promote youth and it’s safe to say that they have not let him down.
The Blues have scored 30 goals in 15 games in the Premier League and nine in five games in the Champions League. Clearly, the goals are coming and there is no need for experimentations in the front-line.
Abraham has scored 11 goals this season. Only Jamie Vardy (14) has scored more in the Premier League. Pulisic has chipped in when necessary and Michy Batshuayi is a very good option off the bench too.
Though the Frenchman has been scoring and featuring regularly for France, his club prospects look bleak. With Chelsea's frontline looking in form, it looks touogh for Giroud to break into the first XI.
"If I want to leave Chelsea? Not necessarily. But if I need to make a choice... I have some beautiful years in front of me. I'm 33, I still have legs and a good healthy lifestyle and I feel good physically," he had said earlier. "I want to have fun and want to play more games. Chelsea is my priority, but if in the end I'm forced to make a choice, I will do it as when I left Arsenal."