Lampard sends Rennes warning to Chelsea players

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Ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League game against Rennes, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has warned his players that Rennes will be a tough challenge.

Chelsea beat Rennes 3-0 at Stamford Bridge before the international window and can qualify for the next round of the Champions League with a victory over Rennes on Tuesday.

Lampard said: “First and foremost we need to prepare right for this game to try to win it, which is going to be a really tough challenge.

“But of course if we were to make one step into the next round it would be an opportunity to look at players who need minutes, or to rest players.

“But we still want to win this group, and no matter the result tomorrow we still have to go to Seville the next game. I think it’s going to be competitive throughout, and I’m confident in the squad.”

Meanwhile, Lampard responded to rumours Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has asked to leave the club in January.

Lampard said: “I saw Oli’s agent’s quotes and I thought nothing of them in a bad way, because it’s normal.

“I know Oli very well and we can have a conversation. He wants to play, when he doesn’t play he’s an incredible support for the other players. He trains brilliantly no matter what, and we have really grown-up conversations.

“In January, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. My first thought always has to be the strength of our squad. I mentioned the December schedule, and I’ll be relying on top players in both of those games (against Arsenal and Villa).

“We’ll have to see how that one goes and I’ll always be honest with Oli, but I still think he’s got a big contribution for us. I know that, because I know how he is. I don’t want to get drawn at the end of November into conversations about what might happen in January, not just at the minute.”

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