football

Zenit vs Chelsea predicted line-ups: Team news ahead of Champions League fixture tonight



The European champions travel to Russia as Chelsea FC aim to return to winning ways after a shock loss at West Ham last weekend.

Zenit Saint Petersburg stand in the Blues’ way from topping Group H.

The hard work has been done by Thomas Tuchel’s side, who dominated Juventus last time out to claim a superior head-to-head advantage.

But both sides are tied up on 12 points, meaning Chelsea must match the Old Lady’s result at home to Malmo to lock up top spot and a second leg at home in the Round of 16 stage.

Here’s everything you need to know about the fixture at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg:

When is it?

The game will kick-off at 5:45pm on Wednesday, 8 December at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg.

How can I watch?

The match will be available to watch on BT Sport 3, coverage starts at 5:15pm. Subscribers can stream the match via the BT Sport app.

Team news

Zenit will be without centre-back Dmitri Chistyakov who serves a suspension following his red card against Malmo.

Wilmar Barrios may slot in alongside Dejan Lovren and Yaroslav Rakitskiy. Zenit are also without goalkeeper Stanislav Kritsyuk following knee surgery, so Mikhail Kerzhakov will step in once more.

Malcom, Claudinho and Artem Dzyuba provide the danger in the final third, with Iranian star Sardar Azmoun set to offer a threat off the bench.

Tuchel continues to endure an injury crisis and is set to be without Ben Chilwell (ACL), Jorginho (back), Trevor Chalobah (hamstring), N’Golo Kante (knee) and Mateo Kovacic (Covid).

Kai Havertz (ankle) and Marcos Alonso (back) are doubts, which means Tuchel will need to be creative and could use Saul Niguez or Reece James at left wing-back. Should he opt for the latter, then Cesar Azpilicueta, another option for the left-hand side, would fill in on the right.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek will continue to benefit from the Blues’ injury crisis, and Romelu Lukaku may finally earn a start after being eased back in from injury.

Predicted line-ups

Zenit Saint Petersburg predicted starting line-up: Kerzhakov; Barrios, Lovren, Rakitskyi; Karavaev, Kuzyaev, Wendel, Santos; Malcom, Dzyuba, Claudinho

Chelsea predicted starting line-up: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; James, Loftus-Cheek, Saul, Alonso; Hudson-Odoi, Pulisic, Lukaku

Odds

Zenit Saint Petersburg: 21/4

Draw: 16/5

Chelsea: 1/2

Prediction

Zenit have already wrapped up third and a route into the Europa League, so Chelsea have the more motivation here and a team looking to prove their worth after their recent setback, which, alongside several players eager to work their way back into form or nail down a role moving forward, should translate to an away win. 0-2.



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