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Chelsea host Krasnodar at Stamford Bridge in the Champions League on Tuesday night after cementing their place at the top of Group E.
Frank Lampard was delighted that his team reached the round of 16 after a resounding 4-0 win over Sevilla in their last European outing. The Chelsea manager suffered a headache with the national team, as Olivier Giroud scored all four goals and declared his intention to occupy a place in the lineup.
Chelsea’s Champions League campaign is off to a good start, with Lampard’s team winning their last four matches. They will try to reach five on Tuesday and match the feat they accomplished in the 2010/11 group stage, the last time they won five in a row in the Champions League.
When does it start? Tuesday December 8
What time does it start? 8 pm (GMT)
Where do you play? stamford bridge
TV channel / Live broadcast? BT sport 3 (UNITED KINGDOM)
Lampard has been luckier than some coaches when it comes to injuries, with Hakim Ziyech his only concern after sustaining a hamstring injury at the weekend against Leeds. The Chelsea manager refused to set a schedule upon his return and said the severity of his injury would be assessed in the coming days.
Kepa Arrizabalaga has not played for Chelsea since October 17, but Edouard Mendy could have a break after a successful start at Stamford Bridge.
We got to see players like Jorginho, Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger rush out after their recent stints on the bench.
Christian Pulisic came off the bench to score against Leeds at the weekend after playing 65 minutes in Seville, and could re-enter the starting eleven.
Krasnodar currently has two injury issues right now with defenders Sergey Petrov and Dmitri Stotskiy, both still on the sidelines.
Chelsea: Arrizabalaga; James, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Alonso; Jorginho, Kovacic, Havertz; Hudson-Odoi, Giroud, Pulisic.
Krasnodar: Safonov; Smolnikov, Sorokin, Martynovich, Ramirez; Wanderson, Kambolov, Vilhena, Claesson; Berg, Ari.
After a difficult start to the season, the Blues have found their feet on both ends of the field.
Chelsea’s defense has only been violated once in Europe once this season with that goal conceded in a 2-1 win over Rennes. They had struggled with shipping targets earlier in the season, but the arrival of Thiago Silva has helped stabilize the boat. Only Barcelona have a better defensive record than Chelsea in the group stage this season.
Krasnodar achieved their first victory in the group stage in their last game, beating Rennes 1-0. They had previously claimed a point from the French team in their first game, the loss to Chelsea coming in the next game before back-to-back losses to Sevilla. They are currently third in the group and will likely drop in the Europa league.
Chelsea 3-1 Leeds United (12/05)
Seville 0-4 Chelsea (02/12)
Chelsea 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur (11/29)
Rennes 1-2 Chelsea (24/11)
Newcastle 0-2 Chelsea (11/21)
Krasnodar 5-0 Rotor Volgograd (05/12)
Krasnodar 1-0 Rennes (12/02)
Khimki 1-0 Krasnodar (11/28)
Krasnodar 1-2 Seville (24/11)
Krasnodar Tambov 1-0 (11/21)
There are plenty of players at Chelsea struggling to gain playing time and they will be eager to prove themselves against Lampard and give him something to think about. We are likely to see a second Chelsea team with qualification already in the bag. The talent Lampard can draw on is terrifying and we are sure to see some electric football at Stamford Bridge.
Prediction: Chelsea 3-0 Krasnodar