Time to get that win!
Chelsea face off against Russian team FC Krasnodar in MD 2 of the Champions League group stage. Krasnodar were established in 2008 and finished 3rd in the Russian League last season as they qualified through the play offs. This season Krasnodar sit 8th in the Russian league with 5 wins 3 draws and 4 losses. Krasnodar lost to Spartak Moscow 1-3 at the weekend as they go through an injury crisis of sorts with many players out. Given the context of Krasnodar’s situation the Russian’s have done quiet well to get a draw in the opening game against Rennes.
Chelsea drew against Sevilla at Stamford Bridge last week and also drew against United during the weekend. The two games were both goalless draws and the positives were that our defence looked strong against two top teams. Our attack did not click in both games and that will be Frank Lampard’s next problem to fix. I personally don’t think the attack is at fault because we have seen this season that they can score goals. The problem seems to be in the midfield and who plays in the pivot out Kante, Jorginho, and Kovacic. Each player has different skills, Kante is better at defending while Jorginho is a better passer, and Kovacic is better at progressing play. I feel like if we stick to a 4-2-3-1 then Kovacic needs to start in the pivot because he is our best chance at connecting the attack and the defence. Then it depends on the game and opposition whether Kante or Jorginho start alongside him. The defence and attack though seem to finally be sorted for Frank going into the next few games.
Chelsea Team Preview
The only player missing for Chelsea in this game is Thiago Silva who was left in London to rest for the game against Burnley. Kepa and Gilmour are still out due to injuries. Mendy should start in goal, in defence I would switch things up and give some key players a rest. Emerson should start with Chilwell on the bench, and Azpilicueta should start as the right back. Christensen, and Tomori should start as our centre backs. Kovacic and Mount should start in the midfield with Hudson-Odoi, Havertz, and Ziyech starting behind Tammy. With so many games coming up Krasnodar is a good chance for us to rest some of our players especially the ones that have played in and out or are more prone to injuries. With 5 subs available in the Champions League if things go well then we should see some players feature from the bench like Giroud.
Krasnodar Team Preview
Krasnodar are without several players and against Spartak Moscow they failed to field a full bench. At the moment they look disorganised and struggling to patch together play and so it will be a tough game for them.
Starting XI Prediction
Krasnodar are not at their best but an away game is always tricky and so Chelsea will have to stay strong at the back and be clinical. It is a good chance for bench players to stake a claim to a starting spot and I expect them to impress especially when our starting XI looks nailed on at the moment. Very excited to see Ziyech start and interested to see what CHO and Tammy do if they start as well. Need the 3 points in this game and convincingly, COME ON CHELSEA!!!