'Joe Cole still keeps in touch': Peter Crouch shares what he's been told about Lille before Chelsea's CL tie next week

Peter Crouch revealed what members of the Lille contingent have told Joe Cole about their Champions League knock-out tie with Chelsea.

Writing in his column for the Daily Mail, the former Liverpool striker said his fellow BT Sport pundit received feelings of positivity from the French outfit toward their European clash with the holders next week.

Champions League restart

Chelsea’s defence of the title they claimed last May begins at Stamford Bridge a week today.

Thomas Tuchel’s men will certainly be buoyed, if not a little tired, after clinching the Club World Cup over the weekend.

Photo by Waleed Zain/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Saturday’s late 2-1 victory over Palmeiras ensured the Blues had finally won every competition they’ve ever entered into.

But these celebrations will be swiftly put aside and focus recentred when Lille travel to South West London in seven days.

Lille keeping the faith

Whilst the Premier League title is pretty much out of reach, Tuchel’s team could make serious strides in this tournament.

Their Ligue 1 opponents have been struggling this season, despite winning their league only last year.

However, Jocelyn Gourvennec’s side apparently still believe they can cause an upset against the reigning continental champions.

 “Chelsea, crowned world champions over the weekend, have a real opportunity to defend the trophy too,” Crouch proclaimed.

“Joe Cole still keeps in touch with the guys at Lille and they fancy their chances in their last-16 match but Chelsea should be too strong.”

Cole donned a Lille jersey for a singular campaign after he departed Chelsea’s ranks in 2010.

Photo by Xavier Laine/Getty Images

In France, he shared a dressing room with an upcoming forward that was turning heads all over Europe.

Before becoming a Blue icon, Eden Hazard had started making a name for himself across the channel.

We hope the pair will avoid wearing a half-and-half scarf when their two ex-employers square off soon.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.