Zenit vs Chelsea: Match Preview, Team news, and Predicted line-ups

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Zenit will be hosting Chelsea for their next Champions League fixture. The Blues have already qualified for the last 16 however who finishes on top is yet to be seen. Chelsea and Juventus are level on points and also have the same head-to-head record. However, Chelsea are better on goal difference than Juventus.

On the other hand, Zenit have no chance to chance to qualify even after beating Chelsea. They scored only 4 points in 5 matches and winning against Chelsea cannot change their position. However, Zenit will get a Europa League knockout round entry pass with their 3rd position in the group.

Chelsea Champions League form: W L W W W

It is highly unlikely that Zenit will get the better of Chelsea but the Blues have suffered in the league this week. Chelsea were beaten 3-2 by West Ham and moreover, Chelsea also had to scrap a victory at Watford. This is maybe because of the injury crisis they are facing.

Zenit Champions League form: L W L L D

Team News

Zenit vs Chelsea: Zenitchiki team news

After undergoing knee surgery at the end of last month, goal-keeper Stanislav Kritsyuk is expected to be out on a long term, with Mikhail Kerzhakov returning to the starting lineup. Sardar Azmoun is likely to start the game against Chelsea, although Malcom, Claudinho, and Artem Dzyuba are unlikely to be dropped for the game. Dmitri Chitsyakov is suspended from the game after receiving a red card against Malmo. As a result, Wilmar Barrios who is midfielder may start alongside Dejan Lovren and Yaroslav Rakitskiy in a back three.

Zenit possible starting line-up

Kerzhakov; Barrios, Lovren, Rakitskyi; Karavaev, Kuzyaev, Wendel, Santos; Malcom, Dzyuba, Claudinho

Chelsea vs Zenit: The Blues team news

Chelsea suffered two injuries against West Ham and maybe without Kai Havertz and Marcos Alonso. Havertz faced an ankle problem while Alonso is facing a back issue and are doubtful to feature against Zenit. The Blues will also be missing four important players with injuries. Ben Chilwell with ACL, Trevoh Chalobah with hamstring, N’Golo Kante with a knee injury, and Mateo Kovacic with a hamstring injury. Due to the absence of both Chilwell and Alonso, either Saul Niguez or Reece James could start at Left wing-back position. If James starts at the left then it will mean Cesar Azpilicueta will play as the Right wing-back.

Chelsea possible starting line-up

Mendy; Christensen, Silva, Rudiger; Azpilicueta, Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho, James; Mount, Ziyech; Lukaku

Our Predictions

Zenit 1-3 Chelsea

Zenit’s home advantage will make it difficult for Chelsea to settle in. Zenit’s fans are loud and are capable of unsettling a team. Chelsea are also not in control of their game in their previous two fixtures in the Premier League. As a result, Thomas Tuchel will want to see a better playing Chelsea side which is in control of the game. However, Zenit can disrupt their rhythm with their front line and their home support. Chelsea’s injury crisis can see them conceding a goal however if they keep a clean sheet it will be the fastest manager and club combination to reach 10 clean sheets in the competition.

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Abhishek Attarde
A great sports enthusiast and fanatic. Hopeful and optimistic and a huge Manchester United fan. Interested in all kinds of sports and wanting to know more
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