Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui rates Chelsea’s Champions League chances under Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard’s Chelsea begin their Champions League campaign against Sevilla (Picture: Getty)

Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui has labelled Chelsea as potential Champions League winners ahead of tonight’s group stage opener at Stamford Bridge.

Frank Lampard admitted he was ‘happy’ with Chelsea’s Champions League draw after the Blues discovered they would face Sevilla, Krasnodar and Rennes in the group stages.

Chelsea reached the last-16 stage last season before suffering a 7-1 aggregate defeat to eventual winners Bayern Munich.

Following a summer in which the club spent more than £200m on the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Ben Chilwell, there is hope that Chelsea will push on this season both domestically and in Europe.

And Sevilla’s Lopetegui believes Chelsea have what it takes to win the Champions League and says his team will need to be at their best to deny Lampard’s side.

He said: ‘We are up against one of the teams that could win the title, in Chelsea, but we want to focus on performing well tomorrow – that’s all we can do.

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‘I think it’s going to be a tough ask. Every match is difficult, but especially in the Champions League against a team like Chelsea.

‘Chelsea have bought some good players, invested a lot of money, it’s a great squad and coach that knows the club inside-out.

‘They are an extraordinarily strong opposition. Chelsea have some fantastic, top players, but they are going to force us to be at our very best.

‘They have been playing well lately and they will force us to produce our best possible performance across the board. We’re going to need to play very well tomorrow.’

Chelsea looked on course for a comfortable victory against Southampton on Saturday as summer signing Werner scored a first-half brace.

But the Blues’ defensive struggles reappeared and the Saints produced an impressive comeback to clinch a 3-3 draw.

Timo Werner impressed in Chelsea’s draw with Southampton (Picture: Getty)

Following the match, Lampard said: ‘I’m aware of the stats and the other stat is we’ve conceded second fewest shots.

‘It helps to narrow down the issue. It’s something we’re aware of with recruitment and on the pitch with the players to make sure we set up well.

‘We want to concede less, as do all teams at the moment.’

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