Chelsea will host Red Bull Salzburg in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, and the Blues will look to pick up their first win of the European campaign.

Chelsea were beaten 1-0 by Dinamo Zagreb in their group opener, and they will be desperate to bounce back strongly at home when they play hosts to Red Bull Salzburg at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

New manager Graham Potter will take charge of the west London club for the first time since replacing Thomas Tuchel last week. And it will be interesting to see if he can grind out a comprehensive victory in front of the Chelsea fans at Stamford Bridge.

Graham Potter under the scanner: What can Chelsea fans expect from their new manager?

Tuchel was dismissed from his role earlier this month after a series of poor performances, and Potter will be expected to get Chelsea firing once again. The narrow defeat against Dinamo Zagreb will have hurt the Premier League giants, and they will look to respond in a positive manner.

Meanwhile, Red Bull Salzburg are coming into this game on the back of a 1-1 draw against AC Milan, and they will fancy their chances of getting something out of the contest tomorrow. The visitors are unbeaten in the last six matches across all competitions.

The Austrian outfit are well aware of the fact that Chelsea have been vulnerable this season, and the visitors will look to take advantage of their inconsistencies. Chelsea have lost three of the last five matches across all competitions. Chelsea and Red Bull Salzburg faced each other back in a friendly in 2019 with Chelsea picking up a thrilling 5-3 win.

Team News and Tactics

Chelsea

Chelsea will be without their star midfielder in N’Golo Kante because of an injury problem. Apart from that, Graham Potter has a fully-fit squad to choose from, and he should be able to field his strongest starting lineup.

The former Brighton & Hove Albion manager prefers a formation involving three centre-backs, and it is thus fair to assume that he will deploy a 3-5-2 formation, with summer signings Wesley Fofana and Kalidou Koulibaly set to line up in a back three alongside Thiago Silva.

Reece James and Marc Cucurella are expected to start as the wing-backs, with Mason Mount, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic starting in the middle of the park. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Raheem Sterling are likely to lead the line for Chelsea against Red Bull Salzburg.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Mendy; Fofana, Silva, Koulibaly; James, Kovacic, Jorginho, Mount, Cucurella; Aubameyang, Sterling

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Red Bull Salzburg

The Austrian giants are plagued with injuries right now, and this will be a difficult away trip for them without their key players.  Maximilian Wober, Luka Sucic, Oumar Solet, Mamady Diambou, Sekou Koita, Samson Tijani, Kamil Piatkowski, Bryan Okoh, Justin Omoregie, Oumar Diakite are all sidelined.

Red Bull Salzburg are expected to line up in a 4-3-1-2 formation against Chelsea, with Philipp Kohn starting as the goalkeeper for the visitors. Amar Dedic, Bernardo, Strahinja Pavlovic and Andreas Ulmer should form the back four for Red Bull Salzburg here.

Nicolas Capaldo, Nicolas Seiwald and Maurits Kjaergaard will start as the central midfielders, and Dijon Kameri should operate in the number ten role. Benjamin Sesko and Fernando are set to lead the line for Red Bull Salzburg against Chelsea, forming the strike partnership. 

Probable Lineup (4-3-1-2): Kohn; Dedic, Bernardo, Pavlovic, Ulmer; Capaldo, Seiwald, Kjaergaard; Kameri; Sesko, Fernando

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Key Stats

  • Red Bull Salzburg have never beaten an English club in a European competition.
  • Chelsea were beaten by Dinamo Zagreb in their Champions League opener, but they have never lost their first two matches in a European competition.
  • Chelsea are unbeaten in 19 of their last 20 home group matches in the UEFA Champions League.
  • Red Bull Salzburg have lost their last three away matches in the Champions League.
  • Chelsea have lost just one of their last four meetings against Austrian teams in European competitions.

Player to Watch

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Embed from Getty Images

Aubameyang will look to make his mark at his new club, and this is a glorious opportunity for him to showcase his qualities. Chelsea are desperate for a win here, and they are up against a team struggling with extensive injury problems.

Red Bull Salzburg are likely to struggle against a top-quality Chelsea side, and Aubameyang should have plenty of opportunities to get his name on the scoresheet. It will be interesting to see how the former Arsenal captain fares in his second outing for Chelsea.

Prediction

Chelsea 3-0 Red Bull Salzburg

Chelsea will be the firm favourites heading into this contest, and they should be able to pick up a comfortable victory at Stamford Bridge. Despite their inconsistencies, the arrival of a new manager should bring new impetus to the players, and they are likely to come out on top against an injury-plagued opposition on Wednesday.

Red Bull Salzburg are well out of their depth, and they are likely to come away empty-handed from this contest. The Hard Tackle predicts a comfortable 3-0 win for Graham Potter’s charges, getting them off the mark in the UEFA Champions League

Comments 1

  1. Bright says:

    Chelsea 3 salzburg 1

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