The Champions League is back with the defending champions Chelsea welcoming Zenit at Stamford Bridge. A good start will be very important for the defending champions. They have started very well in the Premier League as well. Meanwhile, the Russians will be looking to spoil the party. Zenit are currently at the top of the table in the Russian league.
Chelsea vs Zenit: When and Where to watch the Premier League match?
Chelsea will be hosting the Zenit St Petersberg at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, 15th September at 12:30 AM IST.
The live match will telecast on the Sony Sports network. The match will be available on Sony Ten 1 and Sony Ten 2. It will also be available for live streaming on the Sony Liv platform and Jio TV.
Chelsea team news, injuries and suspensions
Thomas Tuchel will be without Christian Pulisic who tested positive for coronavirus. The player is still recovering from COVID-19. He has missed the previous two fixtures because of the coronavirus. The American tested positive for coronavirus on 20th August 2021. It is likely that he will be out for some more time.
N’Golo Kante is also doubtful for the game. The Frenchman picked up an injury against Liverpool at Anfield before the international break. It was during a collision with Sadio Mane. that cause the injury. Tuchel did confirm that Kante has indeed trained but he is not ready for a Champions League game. Apart from these two the Blues have no other injury concerns.
Zenit team news, injuries and suspensions
Magomed Ozdoyev will not available for selection due to a knee problem. He previously missed recent games because of his knee injury. Dmitri Chistyakov is also a doubt for the game.
Chelsea vs Zenit Head to Head record
This will be the first time both the teams will face each other in a competitive game. Before this, these two teams haven’t faced each other in a competitive game. Branislav Ivanović currently plays for Zenit and he was one of the heroes of the 2012 Champions League triumph with the Blues.
Chelsea vs Zenit predicted line-up
Chelsea: Edouard Mendy, Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger, Reece James, Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho, Ben Chilwell, Mason Mount, Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech.
Zenit: Stanislav Kritsyuk, Aleksey Sutormin, Dejan Lovren, Yaroslav Rakitskiy, Douglas Santos, Aleksandr Erokhin, Daler Kuzyaev, Claudinho, Malcom, Artem Dzyuba, Serdar Azmoun.
Chelsea vs Zenit: Players to watch out for
With the Champions League on the horizon, Thomas Tuchel must be keeping one eye on the weekend game against Tottenham. He would want to rest his players as well. This season Alonso has started over Chilwell. The Englishman is yet to play a game this season. This is likely to be his first game of the season. He might not be fresh and fit enough thus Zenit could target him.
The former Barca winger will be the key player for the Russians. They are likely to sit back deep and invite the home side to attack them. While they absorb pressure, Zenit would look to hit Chelsea on counterattacks. In those counterattacks, Malcolm will be the key player as he will have to use his trickery and speed to threaten the Blues. He is the most skilful player for the visitors.
12th Man Prediction
Chelsea have been in great form this season. It is likely that he won’t field their best starting eleven, however, they have enough squad depth to get the job over the line. Not only do they also have the experience of winning the tournament now. That will also help them in case they are overwhelmed by the Russians.
Final Score: Chelsea 2 vs Zenit 0