MX23RW : Saturday, November 28 06:36:42| >> :120:20853:20853:
Oct 28, 2020 at 5.55pm UK at Stadion FK Krasnodar
KrasnodarFC Krasnodar
0-4
ChelseaChelsea

Olsson (22'), Martynovich (76')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Hudson-Odoi (37'), Werner (76' pen.), Ziyech (79'), Pulisic (90')

Preview: FC Krasnodar vs. Chelsea - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Champions League clash between FC Krasnodar and Chelsea, including team news and predicted lineups.

Two sides sitting on one point following the opening round of Champions League fixtures will lock horns on Wednesday as Chelsea make the long journey to Russia to take on FC Krasnodar.

The hosts played out a 1-1 draw with Rennes last week, whereas Chelsea's opener with Sevilla at Stamford Bridge finished goalless.


Match preview

FC Krasnodar celebrate after beating PAOK in the Champions League playoff round on September 30, 2020© Reuters

Krasnodar's inaugural game in the Champions League group stages saw the Russian Premier League outfit take on early Ligue 1 high-flyers Rennes, although the French outfit had started to see their results worsen prior to the visit of Krasnodar last week.

Murad Musaev's men gave Les Rouge et Noir a good run for their money and ultimately walked away with a point to show from their opening match, with Serhou Guirassy's penalty cancelled out by Cristian Ramirez's equaliser just before the hour mark at the Roazhon Park.

However, an injury-plagued Krasnodar did not see their fortunes improve in the league as they were put to the sword on their own turf by Spartak Moscow 3-1 at the weekend, with Musaev's side now sitting eighth in the table despite notching up 22 goals already this season - a tally that only Zenit Saint Petersburg can better.

Of course, Krasnodar are certainly not expected to qualify for the knockout stages in a group which includes Europa League winners Sevilla and Wednesday's opponents Chelsea, with the Blues determined to return to winning ways after a run of three draws in all competitions.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard pictured o October 17, 2020© Reuters

Chelsea's defence has come under heavy scrutiny under former Blues midfielder Frank Lampard, so two clean sheets from their last two outings may come as a slight relief to the Stamford Bridge faithful as the fixture schedule becomes even more unforgiving.

However, the big spenders saw their expensive attack nullified by Manchester United as the two Premier League giants played out a goalless draw at the weekend, and had it not been for a spirited performance from Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, United could have very well taken all three points at Old Trafford.

On the other hand, Lampard felt aggrieved at the decision not to award his side a penalty after Harry Maguire hauled Cesar Azpilicueta to the ground, but the stalemate in Manchester means that Chelsea can now only boast a measly one win from their last six games in all competitions.

Blues fans would have certainly been expecting more from their potent attack given the money that was spent over the summer on marquee signings such as Kai Havertz and Timo Werner, but Chelsea have a prime opportunity to rectify their mistakes against a depleted Krasnodar side before they take on another out-of-sorts side in Burnley on Halloween.

Wednesday's game represents the first ever meeting between Krasnodar and Chelsea, and the Russian side had only existed for four years when Chelsea won the Champions League in 2012.

FC Krasnodar Champions League form: D
FC Krasnodar form (all competitions): DWLWDL

Chelsea Champions League form: D
Chelsea form (all competitions): DLWDDD


Team News

Kepa Arrizabalaga in action for Chelsea on July 22, 2020© Reuters

As mentioned, Krasnodar had a plethora of absentees for the visit of Spartak Moscow on Saturday, and Musaev has a very limited squad to pick from for the visit of Chelsea.

Remy Cabella and Evgeniy Markov both tested positive for coronavirus before the trip to Rennes, while fellow attackers Wanderson and Viktor Claesson are struggling with muscular problems.

Ruslan Kambolov and Aleksandr Cherkinov are also nursing injuries and may be forced to miss this one out as well, while Igor Smolkinov is a shoo-in to start at right-back in the absences of Sergey Petrov and Dmitri Stotskiy.

Chelsea do not have anywhere near as many injury concerns as their midweek hosts, with Kepa Arrizabalaga and Billy Gilmour both on the treatment table, although Thiago Silva has also been rested for this one.

The Blues lined up with three central defenders for their trip to Old Trafford, which ultimately paid dividends defensively as they kept a clean sheet, but Lampard will be going for goals here.

Hakim Ziyech is still waiting to make his full debut for the Blues following three substitute appearances in succession, but the former Ajax man has every chance of featuring from the first whistle here.

FC Krasnodar possible starting lineup:
Safonov; Smolnikov, Kaio, Martynovich, Chernov; Vilhena, Gazinskiy; Suleymanov, Sabua, Ramirez; Berg

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Mendy; James, Rudiger, Zouma, Chilwell; Kante, Kovacic; Ziyech, Mount, Pulisic; Abraham


SM words green background

We say: FC Krasnodar 0-3 Chelsea

Krasnodar's recent form has been underwhelming enough without taking into account the numerous absentees that Musaev must deal with for the daunting visit of Chelsea. The Blues have experienced their fair share of troubles on the attacking front recently but will feel confident of notching up a few goals at the Stadion Krasnodar in midweek, so we are backing Chelsea to record their first Champions League victory of the season in convincing fashion on Wednesday.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:curl

ID:419804:cQx

Who will win Wednesday's Champions League clash between FC Krasnodar and Chelsea?

FC Krasnodar
Draw
Chelsea
FC Krasnodar
0.0%
Draw
0.0%
Chelsea
100%
1
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