Although qualification for the last 16 is a possibility, provided results go their way, Lille coach Claude Puel is refusing to look beyond the encounter with Anderlecht.
Victory would give Lille a place in the knockout stages, provided Milan avoid defeat at AEK.
“We’re approaching this game with the desire to perform well at what we do best,” Puel said.
“Whether we qualify or not is another question and we’re not thinking about that, but if my players play as they can, then obviously it increases our chances.”
Lille lie second although they will be taking nothing for granted against a team with whom they drew 1-1 on Matchday 1.
“That was our opening fixture and they surprised us in the first half,” admitted Puel. “Their level of commitment was a lot higher than we were used to in France, and it took us 45 minutes to adjust. We came back strongly, though, and were able to equalise.”
Schmitz comes in for the suspended Efstathios Tavlaridis, but Yohan Cabaye’s usual replacement Stéphane Dumont is out with a knee injury, which could mean playmaker Mathieu Bodmer adopts a holding role.
“Yohan has become really important to us recently and he’s particularly useful at set-pieces,” said Puel. “Nonetheless, we have other players who can perform his role.”
Anderlecht coach Franky Vercauteren faces a selection dilemma or two himself. Goalkeeper Daniel Zítka and striker Mbo Mpenza went off injured in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Gent, while Nicolas Frutos, Roland Juhász and Nicolas Pareja all appear unlikely to be fit for tonight.
“Losing my goalkeeper and not being able to include Frutos are especially tough blows, but there’s no point dwelling on it,” said Vercauteren. “Our ambitions remain the same: we want to win and keep our destiny in our own hands.”
“I know it won’t be easy because Lille are a good team and we respect their quality, but we don’t want to face AEK on Matchday 6 with nothing to play for,” he stated.
“We let victory slip away against them in Brussels, so we know we’ll have to be at our very best for the full 90 minutes this time.”
Tony Sylva; Matthieu Chalmé, Nicolas Plestan, Rafael Schmitz, Grégory Tafforeau; Jean II Makoun, Mathieu Bodmer; Kader Keita, Nicolas Fauvergue, Mathieu Robail; Peter Odemwingie.
Davy Schollen; Anthony Vanden Borre, Jelle Van Damme, Mark De Man, Olivier Deschacht; Lucas Biglia, Yves Vanderhaeghe; Mbark Boussoufa, Serhat Ak?n, Bart Goor; Mohamed Tchite.