Chelsea vs Zenit live: Kick-off time, confirmed team news, goal and score updates
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Thomas Tuchel’s side will be hoping to make a winning start to their Champions League defence against the Russian side
Good afternoon all and welcome to live coverage of Chelsea’s Champions League group stage opener against Zenit at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues go into this year’s European competition as reigning champions. Their task is to retain the crown, something only Real Madrid have done in the Champions League era.
Thomas Tuchel’s side have been drawn into Group H and their biggest challenger for top spot, at least on paper, are Italian giants Juventus.
Zenit, tonight’s opponents, will not be easy to swat aside, and nor will Swedish club Malmo.
Chelsea have two players ruled out of tonight’s contest. N’Golo Kante is back in training having recovered from an ankle injury reaggravated before the international break, but Tuchel confirmed yesterday the French star will not be risked against Zenit.
Christian Pulisic will also be absent as the USMNT star is currently nursing an ankle problem sustained on international duty. There is an outside chance he is available for Sunday’s trip to Tottenham Hotspur.
As always, we’ll have full coverage of tonight’s game, which kicks off at 8pm UK time.
Our Chelsea correspondents Adam Newson and Sam Inkersole are at the game at Stamford Bridge and will detail all the action from inside the stadium, the reaction from the supporters, and plenty more throughout the 90 minutes.
Scroll down for all of our latest updates from Chelsea vs Zenit.
Chelsea FC vs Zenit St. Petersburg: Prediction, kick off time, TV, live stream, team news, h2h results, odds tonight
Chelsea start the defence of their Champions League crown this evening with a home fixture against Russian side Zenit St Petersburg.
The Blues lifted European club football’s biggest prize for the second time when beating Manchester City 1-0 in last season’s final to cap a remarkable turnaround in fortunes following Thomas Tuchel’s midseason arrival as manager.
The summer arrival of Romelu Lukaku, who scored a brace in Saturday’s win over Aston Villa, has further heightened expectations as Tuchel’s men target success in both European and domestic competition this season.
Live stream: BT Sport subscribers will be able to watch the match online via the website or BT Sport app.
Chelsea vs Zenit team news
Chelsea remain without American winger Christian Pulisic because of an ankle injury, while N’Golo Kante is also missing with the same injury although Thomas Tuchel says the midfielder is in line to return against Tottenham on Sunday.
Jorginho is expected to return in midfield having started on the bench against Aston Villa, with Saul Niguez perhaps most likely to lose his place after a difficult debut.
Chelsea vs Zenit prediction
The Blues have looked imperious so far this season and will be out to stamp their authority on the competition they won so unexpectedly last season.