Chelsea travels to Russia for the second match of the Group E Champions league. They will meet Krasnodar in the second match of this season Champions League at the Stadion Krasnodar. The Krasnodar vs Chelsea match will be played on Wednesday Night.
Chelsea Team News
Chelsea 22-players contingents for the encounter have already arrived in Russia. The key absentees are Thiago Silva, Kepa, and Marcos Alonso. Kepa sustained an injury before the weekend encounter with Manchester United. Alonso will complete serving his three-game ban in the Champions League.
The reason for the absence of Thiago Silva was not stated. It will be interesting to see how Chelsea cope without the absence of the Brazilian defense leader and organizer. Zouma is expected to partner with either Christensen or Antonio Rudiger. The latter is yet to make a single appearance for Chelsea this season.
It is interesting to know that Chelsea has been more stable in defense whenever Thiago Silva and Mendy played. They have kept three clean sheets in his four appearances for both.
Frank Lampard might decide to stick with the 4-2-3-1 formation that has given Chelsea more defensive solidity. Though, it has created another issue which is a lack of goals. He needs to find the right tactical balance for his team.
Chelsea is yet to score in two consecutive games playing out a stalemate against Sevilla and Manchester United. They also have Mendy, their new goalkeeper to thank for impressive displays in between the sticks.
Lampard will be hoping Havertz, Werner and Pulisic will discover their scoring touches and put up good attacking display.
POSSIBLE LINE UP (4-2-3-1): Mendy, Zouma, Christensen, Chilwell, Reece James, Kante, Jorginho, Mount, Havertz, Pulisic, Werner.
Krasnodar lost at 3-1 at home to Spartak Moscow over the weekend. They have been ravaged by injuries to key players Wanderson, Kambolov, Aleksandr Cherkinov, and Viktor Claesson.
Coronavirus infection might rule out Evgeniy Markov and Remy Cabella out of contention for this match.
POSSIBLE STARTING XI (4-2-3-1): Safonav, Martynovich, da Silva Pantaleao, Chernov, Smolnikov, Gazinskiy, Vilhena, Ramirez, Sabua, Suleymanov, Berg.
Krasnodar vs Chelsea: Key facts
Chelsea currently sits in the 10th position in the English Premier League table after six rounds of fixtures. They have won two, drawn three, and lost a single match.
Krasnodar on the other hand sits in the 8th position after 12 rounds of fixtures. They have endured a mixed season. Last season, they impressed and secured third place in the Russian League for the second season in a row.
Both teams drew their first fixture in the Champions League. Cristian Ramirez equalized for Krasnodar after Sehrou Guirassy’s penalty has given Rennes the lead.
Chelsea will be hoping to go back to winning ways in Russia. This is the first time the two teams are meeting in any competition. Chelsea can rely on their favorable records against Russian opponents having won five of six encounters.
They include home and away win against CSKA Moscow and Spartak Moscow in 2004 and 2010 respectively.
We expect Chelsea to change their approach in this game. What we have seen from Lampard in the past two fixtures against Sevilla and Manchester United is conservative and defensive football.
This is reasonable considering that he is trying to shape his Chelsea to be more organized and concede fewer goals. This tactic has worked well but has its own problem of stifling Chelsea attacking talents.
Chelsea will play more direct and open football against Krasnodar as Lampard will be desperate to return to winning ways. Krasnodar has not been helped by a series of key absentees due to injuries and coronavirus.
We expect an easy win for Chelsea in Russia.