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Chelsea vs Zenit: Reigning champs will have to make do without 2 key players

September 13, 2021 By Michelle Bonsu
The Blues will begin their title defense without the services of two very influential players.

On Tuesday, Chelsea will begin their Champions League title defense as the Blues aim to become the second side after Real Madrid to successfully win back to back trophies.

Thomas Tuchel's men come into their game having recorded a comfortable 3-0 win over Aston Villa, which was enough to bring them to joint-tied for first in the table. Only Manchester United, who've scored more goals, sit ahead of them in the rankings, and next up in league action is an intriguing clash against fellow London giants Tottenham on Sunday.

Before then, though, the Blues will take on Russian outfit Zenit at Stamford Bridge. However, they'll have to do so without the services of two very key players: N'Golo Kante and Christian Pulisic.

The 2018 World Cup winner and the American star are both struggling with injuries, with ankle problems keeping them out of Chelsea's last clash. Kante, however, is reportedly making good progress with his rehab and recovery, and could make the bench for Chelsea's showdown against Tottenham on Sunday.

As for Pulisic, who made history as the first American to play in a Champions League final, the 22-year-old still has some ways to go before fans will see him back on the pitch.

Fortunately for Chelsea, who will be facing the Russians for the first time, they have a good record against teams from that country. To date, the Blues are unbeaten in their last six games veruss Russian outfits, with five wins and a draw from their prior six matches. In addition, the London powerhouse haven't lost a group stage game since being defeated by Valencia in September 2019; since then, they've won seven of their last 11 ties.

 

Match details, result and original broadcast info

Chelsea 1 - 0 Zenit

September 14, 2021 3:00pmStamford Bridge (London)

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