Chelsea FC are through to the UEFA Champions League round of 16, but before they get to the knockout stages, they have one more UCL group stage clash, dead rubber though it may be. They’ll welcome in Dinamo Zagreb, the side which brings up the rear in their grouping standings.
The Blues are currently top of the group, by three points over Inter Milan, plus they have a +4 goal differential advantage on the Serie A side. In other words, they have essentially won Group E already, for all intents and purposes.
Chelsea at Dinamo Zagreb Champions League Group Stage
Kick: Wed, Nov 8, 8pm, Stamford Bridge
Competition: Group E, Match Day 6 of 6
Chelsea Starting XI Prediction: go here
Google Result Probability: Chelsea 73% Dinamo Zagreb 11% Draw 16%
Chelsea Team News
With that in mind, this match is kind of a glorified friendly in some ways, and thus it presents a chance for Graham Potter to do some squad rotation. (We did our XI Prediction at this link). And given the disaster that happened this past weekend, the Blues need a result, right now, badly.
There isn’t much to report, fitness wise, beyond a statement released by the club today.
Chelsea FC released the following statement on two of their three long-term injury absentees:
“Reece James and Wesley Fofana will continue their rehabilitation programmes this week in Dubai. A member of the Chelsea medical department will accompany them.”
Both James and Fofana suffered knee injuries, six days apart, earlier on in the UCL group stages. We won’t see either of them until after the World Cup, so Boxing Day at the earliest (Ditto for N’Golo Kante).
Most likely, neither one will feature until 2023. That’s about it for the team news.
Paul M. Banks is the Owner/Manager of The Sports Bank and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”Follow paulmbanks