MX23RW : Sunday, January 16 22:19:25| >> :600:950087:950087:
Dec 8, 2021 at 5.45pm UK at Petrovsky Stadium
ZenitZenit St Petersburg
Claudinho (38'), Azmoun (41'), Ozdoyev (90+4')
Lovren (60')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Werner (2', 85'), Lukaku (62')
Hudson-Odoi (37')

How Chelsea could line up against Zenit St Petersburg

How Chelsea could line up against Zenit St Petersburg
© Reuters
Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at how Chelsea could line up for Wednesday's Champions League clash with Zenit St Petersburg.

Champions League holders Chelsea could be without up to seven first-team players when they travel to Russia to face Zenit St Petersburg in their final Group H game on Wednesday night.

Left wing-back Ben Chilwell, midfielders N'Golo Kante (knee) and Jorginho (hip), as well as versatile centre-back Trevor Chalobah (hamstring) are all ruled out with injuries, while midfielder Mateo Kovacic has tested positive for COVID-19.

In addition, Kai Havertz and Marcos Alonso were both forced off with respective ankle and back injuries in the 3-2 defeat at West Ham United on Saturday, and are unlikely to feature in midweek.

With potentially no recognised left wing-back in Thomas Tuchel's squad, Saul Niguez could be handed a surprise start, after the German head coach previously suggested the Atletico Madrid loanee could be a "good fit" for this position.

In-form full-back Reece James is also an option to start on the left, which would likely see Cesar Azpilicueta brought into the first XI at right wing-back.

Centre-back trio Andreas Christensen, Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger are expected to start once again, though Malang Sarr is also an option, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek could be handed his fourth successive start in centre-midfield.

In attack, Romelu Lukaku – who scored the only goal in September's 1-0 win against Zenit at Stamford Bridge – or Timo Werner are set to lead the line in attack, with Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic and Ross Barkley to battle it out for a place in the starting lineup in an advanced midfield role.

Chelsea possible starting lineup: Mendy; Christensen, Silva, Rudiger; Azpilicueta, Loftus-Cheek, Saul, James; Mount, Ziyech; Lukaku

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