Team news and stats ahead of Chelsea vs Zenit in the Champions League group stage on Tuesday; kick off at 8 p.m.
N’Golo Kante will be missing with lingering ankle problems but is expected to be ready for Sunday’s Premier League trip to Tottenham, while Christian Pulisic is still on the sidelines with his own ankle problem.
Ben Chilwell has yet to play this season and Thomas Tuchel has said the full-back is “in the running” now with Marcos Alonso so far preferred this season left as a winger.
“It was difficult for him, after a Champions League victory, then it was a difficult Euro for him individually as he felt he could have played a role for England,” said Tuchel.
“When I got there I felt he was mentally tired which is not lucky because Alonso has had a full preseason. We had discussions with Chilly … He is 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 at 8 p.m. Also follow Gillette Soccer Special live on Sky Sports News and Sky Sports Premier League from 7pm.
- It will be the first meeting between Chelsea and Zenit Saint-Petersburg in European competition, while the Blues are unbeaten in the previous six matches against Russian teams in the UEFA Champions League (5 v., N. 1).
- Zenit St. Petersburg have won their first away game against an English opponent in European competition (3-0 against Bradford City in the UEFA Intertoto Cup), but have lost each of their last three trips to England – most recently against Liverpool in February 2013 in the UEFA Europa League.
- Chelsea are undefeated in their last 11 UEFA Champions League group stage games (V7 D4), with their last loss to Valencia in September 2019. Since the current group stage format was established from 2003-04, Chelsea only had a longer unbeaten run in the competition once (13 games between 2008 and 2010).
- Zenit Saint Petersburg are winless in their last seven UEFA Champions League games (D1 L6) – their longest winless streak in European Cup / UEFA Champions League history. Indeed, they did not win their six group stage matches in the competition last season (D1 L5).
- In the history of the UEFA Champions League, the reigning champions have lost their first game of the following campaign only twice out of 27 (AC Milan in 1994-95 and Liverpool in 2019-20). Of the 18 occasions the defending champions started the next campaign with a home game, however, no team has ever been beaten (V12, N6).