Top spot is on the line in the final match of the group stage, as are some good vibes and positive feels following a week or less than ideal results and performances. Can we ensure that this blip remains just a small blip? Not winning today wouldn’t be a tragedy, but winning just makes things easier.
Accordingly, Tuchel has selected as strong of a lineup as possible given the various injuries and fitness concerns in the squad. Note that I’m just guessing at the exact formation and personnel roles at the moment — we could go various ways. The official twitter account’s version has us in either a 3-5-2 with Hudson-Odoi as the wing-back (Mount-Barkley-Saúl in mid and two strikers up top), or a 3-4-3, with Saúl on the left flank and CHO up front as well.
We’ll find out once the game starts. UPDATE: So it’s 3-5-2, with Mount, Barkley, and James in the middle, CHO right, Saúl left. James is the sitting mid, the other two are more fluid, as are the front two.
Here we go!
Zenit St Petersburg starting lineup (5-4-1):
Kerzhakov | Douglas Santos, Rakitskyy, Lovren (c), Barrios, Karavaev | Claudinho, Wendel, Kuzyaev, Malcom | Azmoun,
Substitutes from: Odoevski, Byazrov, Krugovoi, Mostovoy, Sutormin, Erokhin, Dzyuba, Ozdoev, Kravtsov, Kuznetsov, Khotulev
Chelsea starting lineup (3-5-2):
Arrizabalaga | Sarr, Christensen, Azpilicueta (c) | Saúl, Mount, James, Barkley, Hudson-Odoi | Werner, Lukaku
Substitutes from: Bettinelli, Mendy, Rüdiger, Alonso, Silva, Pulisic, Loftus-Cheek, Ziyech, Havertz
Date / Time: Wednesday, December 8, 2021, 17.45 GMT; 12:45pm EST; 11:15pm IST
Venue: Krestovsky Stadium, St Petersburg, Russia
Referee: Serdar Gözübüyük (on pitch); Jochem Kamphuis (VAR)
On TV: BT Sport 2 (UK); TUDN, UniMás (USA); Sony TEN 2 (India); SuperSport MaXimo 1, Canal+ Sport 4 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: BT Sport Live (UK); Paramount+, Univision NOW (USA); Sony LIV (India); DStv Now (NGA)
Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes!