Chelsea: Expected lineup and injuries ahead of match against Zenit
Chelsea begins their UEFA Champions League title defense against Zenit St.Petersburg tonight.
Chelsea vs Zenit St.Petersburg
Chelsea will play Zenit St.Petersburg in their first match in the Champions League since winning the whole tournament in the final in May against Manchester City.
The blues and Zenit will play for the first time against each other in a competitive fixture. Both Chelsea and Zenit are unbeaten in their respective leagues this season. The blues will have to face the Russian opponents without the likes of Kante and Pulisic. However, the blues have a very well-stacked squad to face their opponents.
Goalkeeper and Defense
Edouard Mendy is expected to start as the goalkeeper as usual and Kepa is expected to start on the bench. Reece James and Marcos Alonso are expected to start as wing-backs with Alonso preferred over Ben Chilwell. Thiago Silva might be rested for this game to conserve his energy for their match against Spurs on the weekend. As a result, Christensen, Rudiger, and Azpilicueta are expected to start in the center of the defense.
Kovacic and Jorginho are expected to start in the center of the midfield on Tuesday. Meanwhile, N’golo Kante is out injured and is still recovering from his injury. The manager feels it is still early to bring him back. Saul is expected to start the match on the bench. The Spaniard has not yet adapted to Chelsea’s playing style. He had a difficult first half against Aston Villa on the weekend and was taken off for the second half.
Lukaku, Mount, and Havertz are expected to start upfront as Pulisic is out injured and Timo Werner is out of form. Lukaku has been a revelation up front since returning to Stamford Bridge. The Belgian striker has scored 6 goals in 6 appearances for both club and country. Meanwhile, Kai Havertz, who scored the winner for Chelsea in the final of the Champions League, has started every game so far under Tuchel and might repeat that.