Team news and stats ahead of Chelsea vs Zenit in the Champions League group stage on Tuesday; kick-off 8pm.
N’Golo Kante will miss out with continued ankle trouble but is expected fit for Sunday’s Premier League trip to Tottenham, while Christian Pulisic is still sidelined with his own ankle problem.
Ben Chilwell has yet to play this season and Thomas Tuchel said the full-back is “in the race” now with Marcos Alonso so far preferred this season on the left as a wing-back.
“It’s been difficult for him, from a Champions League win, then it was individually for him a tough Euros because he felt he could have played a part for England,” Tuchel said.
“When I arrived I felt he was mentally tired which is unlucky because Alonso had a full pre-season. We had some talks with Chilly… He’s in the race now and with a good mental attitude.”
How to follow
Follow live updates on SkySports.com and the Sky Sports App from 6.30pm on Tuesday; kick-off 8pm. Also follow on Gillette Soccer Special live on Sky Sports News and Sky Sports Premier League from 7pm.
- This will be the first meeting between Chelsea and Zenit Saint Petersburg in European competition, while the Blues are unbeaten in six previous games against Russian sides in the UEFA Champions League (W5 D1).
- Zenit Saint Petersburg won their first ever away game against an English opponent in European competition (3-0 v Bradford City in the UEFA Intertoto Cup), however they’ve lost each of their last three trips to England – most recently against Liverpool in February 2013 in the UEFA Europa League.
- Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 11 group stage games in the UEFA Champions League (W7 D4), with their last such defeat coming against Valencia in September 2019. Since the current group stage format was established from 2003-04, only once have Chelsea had a longer such unbeaten run in the competition (13 games between 2008 and 2010).
- Zenit Saint Petersburg are winless in their last seven UEFA Champions League games (D1 L6) – their longest run without a victory in their history in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League. Indeed, they failed to win all six of their group stage games in the competition last season (D1 L5).
- In UEFA Champions League history, the reigning champions have only lost their first game of the following campaign on two of 27 occasions (AC Milan in 1994-95 and Liverpool in 2019-20). Of the 18 occasions when the reigning champions have begun the following campaign with a home game, however, no side has ever been beaten (W12 D6).