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Chelsea vs Zenit St Petersburg Match Preview – Prediction, Team News, Lineups



An ultimately comfortable 3-0 victory over Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on Saturday sees Chelsea in ideal shape to begin the defence of their continental crown this week.

Returning hero Romelu Lukaku‘s clinical brace – with a goal at either end of the game – helped ensure victory for Thomas Tuchel‘s men, despite the Villans giving goalkeeper Edouard Mendy – who kept an English record nine clean sheets in the Champions League last season – a busy afternoon.

The Blues, therefore, have a record of three wins and a draw so far in the Premier League, and have conceded only once – again demonstrating the steely edge they have developed since Tuchel took to the dugout in January.

Upon his arrival, Chelsea went 14 games unbeaten – the longest initial run without defeat by any manager in the club’s history – and the 2020 runner-up with Paris St. Germain eventually went one better with the London club last season – helping them lift their second Champions League trophy.

Now in pursuit of a third, Chelsea have repatriated one of the world’s top attacking talents, as Lukaku comes back to England as the club’s record signing. Already, Belgium’s all-time top goalscorer – who last term netted 24 times as Inter won their first Scudetto for a decade – looks set to add the required finishing touch to a star-studded squad.

Assembled at extraordinary expense, the capital club’s playing staff features Jorginho – recently named UEFA Men’s Player of the Year – N’Golo Kante(UEFA’s top midfielder) and Mendy (Goalkeeper of the Year), while Tuchel claimed the coach’s prize.

Starting as strong favourites to progress, then, they will be the first Chelsea side to tackle one of Russia’s grandest clubs this week, as they have never met Zenit before.

In a similar vein to their opening matchday hosts, Zenit scored three times at the weekend, as they beat Akhmat Grozny 3-1 in the Russian top flight. Goals by Brazilian pair Wendel and Malcom – plus a strike from Russia midfielder Aleksandr Yerokhin – secured another three points; helping them take an early stranglehold on a division they have dominated in recent years.

Head coach Sergei Semak – a five-time national champion as a player – had previously enjoyed spells as an assistant with both Zenit and Russia before taking the top job at modest Ufa; leading them to a club record sixth-placed top-flight finish in 2018 and then becoming Zenit boss in May of that year. He has since led his current club to three successive titles and is now targeting elusive European progress as well.

The former midfielder has a tall task ahead of him, though, as the Russian champions must not only compete with Chelsea for a berth in the last 16, but also Italian giants Juventus and Swedish champions Malmo.

Of course, the ultimate dream would be leading his side out at Zenit’s imposing Saint Petersburg Arena headquarters in the Champions League final next spring. Also the venue for seven games at Euro 2020, their home ground is a stronghold for the Zenitchiki, but last year they were beaten by Borussia Dortmund, Lazio and Club Brugge away from home, as they finished last in their group.

This season, they have added a further dash of Brazilian flair to a growing collection, as Claudinho – fresh from winning Olympic gold with Brazil – recently signed up from Brasileiro upstarts RB Bragantino. The 24-year-old attacking midfielder finished as joint-top scorer in Brazil’s Serie A last term, with 18 league goals, and could play an integral role as Zenit seek to survive the group stage for the first time since 2015.

Now kicking off the club’s ninth Champions League campaign proper – and a third in succession – they have reached the first knockout round in 2011-12, 2013-14 and 2015-16 but have yet to progress further.


Chelsea form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W


Zenit St Petersburg form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W
sportsextral prediction 
Chelsea 2-0 Zenit
Chelsea 3-1 Zenit
Chelsea 3-0 Zenit
Chelsea 2-0 Zenit
Stamford Bridge,Tuesday (14/9/2021) 8:00 GMT

Chelsea have recently been in good form under Thomas Tuchel. After winning the European Super Cup, they are unbeaten and even almost wiped out all matches with a win. Most recently, a 3-0 victory over Aston Villa was a signal that the Blues were ready to bulldoze the next match.

However, Zenit St. Petersburg is also in top form. Sergei Semak’s men are also unbeaten in the Russian League. They are even currently at the top of the Russian Premier League standings. Obviously, these facts make the Chelsea vs Zenit match going to be interesting to look forward to.

Prediction: Chelsea vs Zenit St. Petersburg 8
Chelsea vs Zenit Prediction
Prediction: Chelsea vs Zenit St. Petersburg 9
  • Fierce, that’s the prediction of Chelsea vs Zenit because the two teams have never met before.
  • Chelsea are unbeaten in 12 of 13 matches in the Champions League.
  • Chelsea have kept five clean sheets in their last 7 matches in the Champions League.
  • Zenit have lost six of their last 7 matches in the Champions League.
  • Last season Chelsea won nine of their 13 Champions League games (D3 L1).
  • Chelsea have been paired with a Russian club in the group stage for the second season in a row. In 2020-21 they take four points off debutants Krasnodar (4-0 a, 1-1 h).
  • Zenit have a bad record in England. That’s after they lost three of the four games in England. The only win came in 2000 when they beat Bradford 3-0 in the Intertoto Cup semi-finals.
  • Thomas Tuchel had never met Zenit before.
  • The match will be Tuchel’s first time against Zenit coach Sergei Semak.
  • Bush had never played Chelsea before.
  • Chelsea is the 40th team Semak has faced in his coaching career.
  • The match Chelsea vs Zenit will be led by referee from Poland, Bartosz Frankowski.
  • Frankowski has never once taken charge of a Chelsea game before.
  • This match will be Frankowski’s first time leading Zenit.

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*Stats based on Champions League 2021-22 via Whoscored.

  • Chelsea: N’Golo Kante, Christian Pulisic (doubtful)
  • Zenit: All playable
Prediction: Chelsea vs Zenit St. Petersburg 10


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