Charlie Nicholas makes Champions League predictions for Liverpool v Salzburg and Lille v Chelsea

Chelsea and Liverpool are in action in the Champions League (Picture: Getty)

Charlie Nicholas has backed Liverpool to prove too strong for Champions League rivals Red Bull Salzburg but expects Chelsea to be frustrated at Lille.

Premier League leaders Liverpool welcome Austrian outfit Salzburg to Anfield on Wednesday evening, having lost to Napoli in their first group match of the 2019-20 Champions League.

Jurgen Klopp’s side won the competition last season – beating domestic rivals Tottenham in the final in Madrid – and have won all seven of their Premier League matches this term.

Like Liverpool, Chelsea also suffered defeat in their first Champions League group match, losing to Valencia at home, but are beginning to impress under new manager Frank Lampard.

But while Nicholas expects Liverpool to defeat Salzburg, the Arsenal hero doubts Lampard’s Blues will return from Lille with all three points.

Liverpool vs Salzburg – Wednesday, 8pm

‘I remember Red Bull Salzburg from them playing Celtic a few years back. There was a lot going on with the brand and funding – they had to be building for a few years.

‘They are going to one of the grounds with the best atmosphere in Europe on Champions League nights. Liverpool are getting the job done at the moment.

‘If I were Jurgen Klopp I would change a couple of things.

‘Joe Gomez could come in and James Milner may get a start. Adam Lallana could get an opportunity, too. It will be a very comfortable night, regardless.

Liverpool 3-0 Salzburg

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Lille vs Chelsea – Wednesday, 8pm

‘This is a very awkward tie. I am trying to work out how Frank Lampard goes about this. When is the right time to put all of these youngsters in together?

‘If he can use them, he would much prefer to use them at home. After being on a high, you do not want to flip the switch and raise question marks.

‘He will go with a solid base I think for that reason. Lille drew 1-1 away at Nice at the weekend and are sitting pretty comfortable in fourth, so this is a test for Chelsea.

‘I think they may get something from this, but it will be a more experienced Chelsea side that we see.

Lille 1-1 Chelsea

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Ahead of Chelsea’s trip to Lille, Frank Lampard discussed his team’s start to the Champions League and said: ‘I didn’t think Valencia was the worst game for us.

‘We should have got a result. With Lille, they have a lot of threats, speed and quality.

‘It is not the be-all and end-all, we have to see it in the big picture, but it’s a game we have to be ready for.’

Klopp, meanwhile, has urged his Liverpool side to get back to winning ways in Europe following their defeat to Napoli.

‘We have to start winning and we should not waste time,’ he said. ‘We can’t wait for scoring points – we need to get points on Wednesday.’


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