Chelsea vs Salzburg: Champions League Preview, Matchday 2, 2022
Stamford Bridge will be the venue on Wednesday night (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

It is quite extraordinary just how much can change in the space of a week.

When Chelsea last stepped off the pitch, it was in Croatia, having lost 1-0 to Dinamo Zagreb in their opening match of this season's Champions League group stage, with Thomas Tuchel lamenting his side's performance on the night.

Now, a little over seven days following that defeat, the Blues have appointed a brand new head coach in the form of Graham Potter, whilst also not playing a game in  the meantime, giving them a rare extended break.

The west London side will host a club that could not be much more in contrast with their current situation: Salzburg sit top of the Austrian Bundesliga, winning seven of their opening eight games in their domestic season.

They had to settle for a draw against the other team in Group E, AC Milan, when they faced the Italian giants on matchday one, but will feel quietly confident about their chances going up against a Chelsea team who may not be at their best.

Team News

Chelsea

In his first press conference since being appointed the new Blues' boss, Graham Potter was asked about the availability of his squad ahead of this midweek matchup - his first time taking charge of the side.

Fortunately for the 47-year-old, one thing he will not have to worry about too much is injuries - at least for the moment - with the only absence being that of midfielder N'Golo Kante, who has been out for a couple of weeks now.

Admittedly, it is a fairly major player for Potter to be missing, given his contribution to the team when he is in it, but with plenty of squad depth - such as Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho - the new boss should be just fine.

Salzburg

As for Matthias Jaissle's team, he will have something of a headache when it comes to figuring out just who he can field in this midweek clash, with a whole host of injuries hindering the availability in his squad.

It is at the back in particular that the 34-year-old manager will need to think long and hard about, with no fewer than four of his five recognised centre backs currently on the sidelines, meaning some ad-hoc replacements will be needed.

Left back Bernardo will likely slot in temporarily, as he has done recently, while the favoured front two of Fernando and Noah Okafor, who were rested at the weekend for Salzburg's 3-0 win over SV Ried, are expected to return too.

Likely Lineups

Chelsea

Mendy; Fofana, Silva, Koulibaly; James, Kovacic, Jorginho, Cucurella; Mount, Aubameyang, Sterling

Salzburg

Kohn; Dedic, Pavlovic, Bernardo, Ulmer; Capaldo, Seiwald, Kjaergaard; Kameri; Fernando, Okafor

Key Players

Chelsea - Reece James

In a team which has looked remarkably subpar for much of the start of this year's campaign, there have been few standout performers for Chelsea thus far, but one player who is certainly within that category is Reece James.

The England international - who struggled with various injury setbacks throughout last season - has been able to get a solid run in the team, with his performances looking better and better every time he plays.

With 1.2 expected assists, the forwards for the Blues can hardly complain about a lack of service from the right hand side, and when combined with his excellent defensive capabilities, the 22-year-old is a handful for any team.

Salzburg - Noah Okafor

It is another 22-year-old being picked out from the Austrian opposition ahead of this one, in a sign of the promising youth prospects which both teams evidently possess, with Noah Okafor being the star of the show for Salzburg this season.

The forward is his team's top scorer in the league, having notched five goals, as well as picking up an assist too - in fact, he has only failed to net in three of Salzburg's eight games in the top flight this term.

Embed from Getty Images

The Swiss international even put his side ahead against AC Milan in their first group stage match, meaning he will be feeling particularly confident at getting on the scoresheet in the English capital this midweek.

Match Details

Where is the game being played?

Graham Potter will lead his side out for the first time at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea's home stadium.

What time is kick-off?

This game is set to get underway at 8:00 PM BST on Wednesday 14 September.

How can I watch?

BT Sport will be broadcasting this one, with their coverage beginning at 7:15 PM BST. 

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