This season’s Champions League final will take place in St Petersburg, but it looks far more likely that defending Champions Chelsea will reach this season’s showpiece than Zenit St Petersburg themselves, and few people are expecting any sort of upset at Stamford Bridge tonight.
It’s incredible to think that Thomas Tuchel is already a Champions League winner with the club despite having less than 50 games under his belt but The Blues, rock solid under his stewardship last season, have already made a smooth start to this campaign. A return of nine points from four Premier League games suggests a bold bid for the title is coming and Chelsea earned plenty of credit from their 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield considering that they played 45 minutes with ten men.
New signing Romelu Lukaku has made a quick start with three goals in the Premier League and will play a big part in their European challenge whilst aat the other end of the pitch, Edouard Mendy has impressed with a string of important saves against Liverpool and Aston Villa.
Chelsea v Zenit St Petersburg
UEFA Champions League Group Stage
20:00 BT Sport 2 HD / BT Sport Ultimate
(Maximum 10 matches, since 2010)
First Meeting between teams
Zenit sit top of the Russian Premier League with five wins and 17 points from their games, but they were held to a 1-1 draw by Lokomotiv Moscow, the only top half side they’ve played, and they don’t appear to be much improved compared to last season, especially with only one major arrival in the shape of forward Claudino from Brazilian top-flight side Red Bull Bragantino.
That spells trouble for them at this level, given that they picked up one point from their group stage clashes with Borussia Dortmund, Lazio and Club Brugge, scoring just four times in their six games (and losing to nil away at Dortmund and Club Brugge).
Chelsea have won three of their Premier League games by either 2-0 or 3-0 score lines, and dutching those correct scores could be the best play this evening.
⚠️ Stakes advised on a scale of 0-10 points depending on confidence from our preview team
(Current ante-post recommendations CLICK HERE)