Chelsea vs Zenit St Petersburg preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
Photo Jose Coelho Pool via getty images

Chelsea FC will welcome Zenit St Petersburg to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night in what looks like a fairly straight match for the European champions.

Chelsea will come into the match having made a blistering start domestically that finds them deadlocked with Manchester United at the summit of the premier league table.

With a difficult away match in Turin against Juventus on matchday two, Chelsea will be hoping not only to win against Zenit but also score a lot of goals to give them a healthy goal difference ahead of the match with Juventus.

Like Chelsea, Zenit have made a blistering start to the season and find themselves top of the Russian premier league two points clear of PFC Sochi.  scoring 16 goals domestically and only conceding eight.

With a home match against Malmö on matchday two, Zenit will know that if they cause an upset on Tuesday night, they will be in a strong position in the group by the time matchday three comes around.

Team news

Thomas Tuchel will again be without American winger Christian Pulisic who is set to miss out having missed the premier league match against Aston Villa on Saturday.

However, there is a possibility that N'Golo Kante will be fit and available to start. Tuchel might also give starts to several fringe players such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ben Chilwell as well as Reece James who will be available after he missed the match on Saturday due to a suspension.

Meanwhile, Zenit head coach Sergei Semak has two injuries ahead of the match on Tuesday with midfielder Magomed Ozdoyev still set to miss out following his knee injury sustained earlier in the season, while center back Dimitri Chistyakov is also a doubt following his ankle injury.

However, Semak received a boost with Brazilian talents Malcom formerly of Barcelona, and new signing Claudinho Olympic gold medal winner both eligible to play against Chelsea after they initially would've missed out because of the ban imposed by FIFA on players returning to  Europe from red list countries.

Predicted Lineups

Chelsea: Mendy, Rudiger, Christiansen, Silva, Chilwell, James, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Werner, Lukaku, Hudson-Odoi

Zenit St Petersburg: Kritsyuk, Sutormin, Chistyakov, Lovren, Santos, Mostovoy, Wendel, Kuzyayev, Yerokhin, Dzyuba, Azmoun

Players to watch

Romelu Lukaku

Since his transfer from Inter Milan this summer, Romelu Lukaku has looked at home at Chelsea and has turned them into one of the best teams in Europe that no one wants to play against.

Lukaku has also made a brilliant start to the premier league this season scoring three goals in three games for Chelsea including a brace at the weekend against Aston Villa.

With Zenit likely to sit deep Chelsea will be hoping Lukaku can hold the ball up and cause havoc to the Zenit center backs.

Sadar Azmun

 Zenit will be relying on Sadar Azmun to try and give them some sort of goal threat on Tuesday the Iranian striker was the Russian Premier League top scorer last season with a respectable 19 goals and has already scored five goals this season.

He will also be hoping to get good goal-scoring chances from talented Brazilians Malcom and Caludiniho.  However, Zenit will know that if they want any chance of coming away with a draw, or even maybe a win Azmun will need to play at his best and be clinical and ruthless in front of goal because he will likely not get that many opportunities on Tuesday.

Last time out

Surprisingly this will be the first time in both club's histories that Zenit and Chelsea will face each other having never before met in a friendly or European competition. 

However, they will know a bit about each other because there has been transfer business between the two clubs most notably the transfers of Yuri Zhirkov and Branislav Ivanovic however this is the closest the two clubs have come to meeting.

The pattern of the game on Tuesday will likely be Chelsea dominating the ball and possession stats with Zenit sitting deep and trying to score on the counter-attack. They will also pose a big danger to Chelsea at set-pieces with six-foot-six striker Artem Dzuyba one of the main dangers and will take heart knowing that Chelsea struggled from set-pieces against Aston Villa.

How to watch

Fans in the UK will be able to watch the match on BT Sport 2 from 19:45 while fans in the US can tune in on ESPN +.

 

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