A solid start to the season has seen Zenit begin defending their Russian Premier League title in a positive fashion. Five wins from seven unbeaten matches is how they’ve managed to get to the head of the table and when you consider they’ve already beaten Krasnodar and CSKA Moscow, while they drew away at Lokomotiv Moscow, it looks like it could be their season domestically again.
Their opponents, Chelsea, have also had an impressive start to the season. They’ve won three of their four unbeaten league games, with that sole stalemate coming against Liverpool.
The most impressive part of their game has been the defence, as only a Mohammed Salah penalty has gone into the back of their net over those games and we wouldn’t be surprised to see them keep another clean sheet.
There is a real buzz surrounding Stamford Bridge at the minute following what has been another successful summer in the transfer market for Chelsea.
Indeed, the reigning Champions League champions added both Romelu Lukaku and Saul Niguez to their ranks, and although the latter was subbed off at the halfway mark on his debut last time out, there’s no denying his quality on a football pitch.
Chelsea To Win To Nil
What the Chelsea fans will be ecstatic about, is the addition of Lukaku who has already netted three goals in as many games, and with the lack of an out and out goalscorer holding them back from winning more last season, it’s exciting times in southwest London.
Looking at how Russian teams have managed in England in European football, they’ve gone a poor W2-D3-L14 dating back to the 2010/11 season.
That includes eight defeats by at least two clear goals and given the disparity in quality between the two outfits, that looks the most likely way this one will pan out.
Chelsea -2 Handicap
The Blues conceded just twice in their six European group games last season, winning four of them as 75% of those victories came by three or more clear goals, while when including knockout matches that conceded tally sits at just four from their 13 outings across the whole 2020/21 tournament.
That is a remarkable record when you consider they changed managers too over that period from Frank Lampard to Thomas Tuchel, and they look to be a real threat in this years’ competition.
By comparison, the Russian outfit lost five of their six winless Champions League matches last term, including 2-0, 3-1 and 3-0 defeats to Dortmund, Lazio and Club Brugge on the road respectively, and this looks set to be a fairly one sided affair.
CHELSEA TO WIN TO NIL
CHELSEA -2 HANDICAP