Krasnodar vs Chelsea: Champions League – LIVE!

Krasnodar vs Chelsea – LIVE!

The Blues return to Champions League action this evening with a 3,662-mile round trip to southern Russia.

Frank Lampard’s side began their Group E campaign with a goalless home draw against Sevilla last week and will be expected to pose a far greater attacking threat tonight.

Their opponents are currently riddled by injury but picked up a point in their opener against Rennes.


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Live Updates

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14 mins: Missed penalty! 

Remarkable! Jorginho does his usual hop and skip and sells the keeper, sending him the wrong way, but he rolls the ball against the post. The ball ricochets back across the line, hits Safanov – who hasn’t got a clue – on the back and away! 

Photo: Getty

13 mins: Penalty to Chelsea! 

A bit of a gift, really. Azpilicueta feeds Werner, who gets a toe to the ball as Kaio comes steaming in and catches him. 

ES COVERAGE

James Robson for Standard Sport

No doubt who has started the brightest. Krasnodar may be the underdogs of Group E, but they’ve already served warning to Chelsea of their threat. If Berg shows a little more composure he would have tested Mendy – and then Utkin did with his low drive from the edge of the box.

8 mins: I mentioned the Krasnodar kit being quite nice. The Chelsea one is not. 

4 mins: The first sight of goal is for the hosts as Chelsea give possession away cheaply in their own half and Marcus Berg pounces but fires high and wide. 

KICK OFF

KICK-OFF!

We are underway…

The teams are on their way out in Russia. It’s a lovely kit the home side have got, a black base with a luminous green trim. It’s greta to see some fans in the ground, too. 

Right then, just 15 minutes to go until kick-off. The winner will go top of the group, at least for a few hours, until Sevilla play Rennes later on. 

If you need proof, here are some blokes warming up in t-shirts…

You might usually expect an away trip to Russia at this time of year to mean a freezing cold night, but actually Krasnodar is way down south, near the Black Sea, and the temperature has been up around 22 degrees today.

It’s like a holiday for the Chelsea boys. 

Krasnodar team news

Krasnodar XI: Safonov, Smolnikov, Kaio, Martynovich, Chernov, Vilhena, Gazinski; Utkin, Olsson, Ramírez, Berg

Subs: Gorodov, Kutovoi, Spertsyan, Sabua, Sinitsyn, Suleymanov, Litvinov.

Ziyech, Rudiger start for Chelsea

Hakim Ziyech makes his long-awaited first Chelsea start as he joins Callum Hudson-Odoi and Kai Havertz in support of Timo Werner. 

There’s also a first start of the season for Antonio Rudiger, who came close to leaving the club during the transfer window. 

Chelsea team news

Chelsea XI: Mendy, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Zouma, Chilwell, Jorginho, Kovacic, Ziyech, Havertz, Hudson-Odoi, Werner

Subs: Caballero, Ziger, James, Tomori, Christensen, Emerson, Kante, Mount, Pulisic, Giroud, Abraham 

How Krasnodar got here

This is the first time the Russians have ever reached the group stage of the Champions League.

They got here thanks to a 4-2 aggregate win over PAOK in the playoff round and actually go into tonight’s game top of the group on alphabetical order. Which is nice. 

With kick-off at 5:55pm GMT in Russia, we will have full team news for you in around an hour.

James Robson will be providing expert coverage and analysis of the game, so watch this space.

Lampard relishing Chelsea challenges but feels he is ‘judged differently’

Photo: AFP via Getty Images

When Frank Lampard accepted Chelsea’s call just a year after stepping into management, close confidants asked if he was sure he was making the right move.

The Blues legend, however, could not resist his dream job, even if it meant learning the ropes along the way.

Lampard remains very much a novice on the touchline, but he knows that will afford him little leeway if he cannot meet the expectations of a club obliged to challenge on all fronts and deliver the biggest prizes.

If anything, he believes he will be held to even higher standards as an Englishman in direct competition with the super coaches of world football.

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Click here to read James Robson’s full article

Zouma: Chelsea defence have nothing to prove without Silva

Photo: Getty Images

Kurt Zouma has told Chelsea they must maintain their newfound defensive resolve – even in the absence of Thiago Silva.

Brazil international Silva was left behind as Frank Lampard’s side flew out for Wednesday’s Champions League tie against Krasnodar.

Chelsea are looking to manage the 36-year-old’s game time during a condensed season.

But he will be a miss after proving pivotal in back-to-back clean sheets against Sevilla and Manchester United.

Zouma hailed Silva’s influence, but insists Chelsea can cope without him.

“He brings experience,” said the centre-back. “We know he’s been winning a lot of trophies. As soon as he came in he was part of the group, already talking to the players.”

Click here to read the full article

Chelsea predicted lineup

Here is how Standard Sport’s James Robson predicts the Blues will shape up in southern Russia this evening…

Chelsea predicted lineup (4-2-3-1): Mendy; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Zouma, Chilwell; Kante, Jorginho; Mount, Havertz, Pulisic; Werner

Lampard seeking Chelsea balance

Photo: AFP via Getty Images

After back-to-back goalless draws, Frank Lampard admits he is still getting the balance right with his Chelsea defence and attack.

“I think with the last two games we’ve played against high level opponents,” he added. “Seville and Manchester United in their own way offer a lot of threats. Going into a Champions League game with Seville you have to respect what they can do.

“They just won the Europa League last year, they took Bayern to extra time in the Super Cup and they are a very talented team.

“So I wanted to get both sides of our game right. I think we got a lot of our defensive game right on the day. I didn’t like every bit of it because we are still improving because now we are training in real time.

“I think we did it well in those two games in the defensive side. The balance of us going forward wasn’t as great as I would want it to be, but I said after the game that that is the least of my worries in the big picture, because I know we have a lot of talent in this team.

“So getting both of sides of our game is something we are working on every day and I’m happy where we are, but we want more and that will take work.”

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Date, time and venue

Krasnodar vs Chelsea is scheduled for a 5:55pm BST kick-off today (Wednesday, October 28, 2020).

The match will be behind closed doors at Krasnodar Stadium with no fans due to be present due to government guidelines regarding coronavirus.

How to watch

TV channel: The match will be televised on BT Sport 3, with coverage starting from 5:15pm.

Live stream: BT Sport subscribers will be able to watch the match online via the video player and the BT Sport app.

Team news

Chelsea XI: Mendy, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Zouma, Chilwell, Jorginho, Kovacic, Ziyech, Havertz, Hudson-Odoi, Werner

Subs: Caballero, Ziger, James, Tomori, Christensen, Emerson, Kante, Mount, Pulisic, Giroud, Abraham

Prediction: Krasnodar 0-1 Chelsea

Expect the Blues to keep things tight at the back while also adding a little more bite in attack, with a narrow win on the cards.

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