Frank Lampard says Chelsea’s talented youngsters will have to be “spot on” with their concentration when they make the step up in class to play in the Champions League.
Chelsea are favourites for Tuesday’s game against Valencia – as shown by the odds available via Findbettingsites.co.uk – but Blues boss Lampard says he will be talking to the players to prepare them for life in Europe’s premier competition.
They will face the Spanish side and Ajax and Lille in the group stages when they return to the Champions League following a 12-month absence.
“The different level can surprise you,” Lampard explained.
“The main thing is that the concentration levels throughout the game have to be spot on. It will be that focus. That is the main point.”
Seven-goal striker Tammy Abraham, midfielder Mason Mount and defender Fikayo Tomori have all played key roles in the Premier League so far this season.
And the English trio, along with relatively inexperienced defenders Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen, midfielders Ross Barkley and Christian Pulisic, and keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga are all likely to play a big part this term.
With Callum-Hudson Odoi and Reece James close to returning after injury, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek also on the road to recovery, Lampard has a young squad with limited Champions League experience to call on.
“We have talent that can blossom in the Champions League,” added Lampard, a competition winner with Chelsea in 2012.
“There are two parts, pre-Christmas and if you get through then after Christmas, but I know the dangers of the group.
“I had some incredible nights in the Champions League, and some bad ones. It’s the ultimate in club football. There is something about Stamford Bridge, Champions League football and that music.”