Chelsea will be hoping this isn’t their last trip to St. Petersberg this Champions League campaign, as their convincing 4-0 dismantling of Juventus in the last round of fixtures helped secure qualification, while victory here would see them top the group and put them in good stead for a favourable round of 16 tie and closer to a return to this city for a second consecutive final.
Zenit have nothing to play for here as they’ve guaranteed third spot in the group, and that will certainly play into the blues’ favour as they look to bounce back from their weekend defeat to West Ham.
While Zenit remain two points ahead of Dynamo Moscow in the league, they’re form leaves much to be desired as they’ve now won just four of their last 11 matches across all competitions and enter this game off the back of three draws in five.
That doesn’t bode well against a side of Chelsea’s calibre, and it would be a real shock if this was anything other than an away win.
Unsurprisingly, there’s little value in backing that outcome on it’s own accord, and value may be found in getting Zenit onside in other ways. Chelsea’s unbeaten away record was broken at the weekend, and while that’s frustrating in itself for Thomas Tuchel’s men, the fact they conceded more than a goal in a game for the first time this season will be of great concern to the German coach, who has taken pride in his side’s defensive resolve.
Chelsea To Win And Under 2.5 Goals
You don’t become a poor side overnight though, and we’d expect the main focus of Chelsea training since that defeat will be on defensive shape, and we could see a return to a low scoring Chelsea win which we became so accustomed to seeing last season.
10 of the blues’ 14 wins this season have come with under 3.5 goals landing too, and with Zenit managing to hold the game to just 1-0 in the reverse fixture we can see this being another difficult game for the London club.
Timo Werner To Score Anytime
Romelu Lukaku was the difference at Stamford Bridge, though he’s failed to score for his club since then and was notably off the pace when coming off the bench at the London Stadium, and it’s unlikely that that’s earned him a starting spot here.
Kai Havertz looks likely to be ruled out having limped off against the Hammers and Timo Werner looks set for a starting spot.
The German hasn’t gone more than two matches without scoring for club or country since the Premier League season started, and has eight goals in total despite some injury concerns, and he looks the most likely source of goals for Chelsea here.
CHELSEA TO WIN AND UNDER 2.5 GOALS
TIMO WERNER TO SCORE ANYTIME