Frank Lampard has rejected suggestions that all the English teams landed favourable draws in the Champions League and believes Chelsea have been handed a very testing group stage.
The Blues, who were seeded in Pot 1 after securing qualification as winners of the Europa League, were drawn against Dutch champions Ajax, Valencia and Lille – who finished second in Ligue 1 last season. Lampard believes all three teams represent significant threats and Chelsea will need to be at their best to progress to the knockout stages.
Asked if Chelsea had landed a difficult draw, Lampard told reporters: ‘Yeah, I think so. I saw the early reports were all the English teams have seemingly had pretty good draws: there never is an easy draw in the Champions League.
‘One team was a semi-finalist last year [Ajax], Valencia are a very strong team always, and dangerous, and in Lille we have another strong team.
‘It’s certainly no walkover of a group at all, far from it. Quality teams that we’ll have to be fully on guard and be at our best to get through the group because it’s a strong group across the board our group.’
Lampard played in a Chelsea side that were drawn against Valencia in the group stages of the 2011/12 season – the year they lifted the trophy – and netted at the Mestalla.
Group H. 🤝
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 29, 2019