Team news and stats ahead of Chelsea against Zenit in Tuesday’s Champions League group stage; Kick-off at 8 p.m.

Team news

N’Golo Kante will be out with persistent ankle problems but is expected to be fit for Sunday’s Premier League trip to Tottenham while Christian Pulisic is still on hold with his own ankle problems.

Ben Chilwell has yet to play this season and Thomas Tuchel said the full-back is now “in the running” with Marcos Alonso being preferred as the full-back on the left so far this season.

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Christian Pulisic will also be absent

“It was difficult for him since a Champions League win, then it was a tough EM for him individually because he felt he could play a role for England,” said Tuchel.

“When I got there I felt like he was mentally tired which is bad luck as Alonso had a full pre-season period. We had some conversations with Chilly … He’s in the race now and he’s mentally good.”

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Follow live updates on SkySports.com and the Sky Sports app on Tuesday from 6.30pm; Kick-off at 8 p.m. You can also follow the Gillette Soccer Special live from 7pm on Sky Sports News and the Sky Sports Premier League.

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WATCH FOR FREE: Highlights from Chelsea’s win against Aston Villa in the Premier League.

  • This is the first time Chelsea and Zenit Saint Petersburg have faced any European competition, while the Blues have been unbeaten in the UEFA Champions League in six games against Russian teams (S5 U1).
  • Zenit Saint Petersburg won their first away game against English opponents in a European competition (3-0 against Bradford City in the UEFA Intertoto Cup), but has lost each of their last three trips to England – most recently in February 2013 against Liverpool in the UEFA Europa League .
  • Chelsea are unbeaten in the last 11 group stage matches in the UEFA Champions League (7 wins, 4 losses), the last such loss was against Valencia in September 2019. Since the introduction of the current group stage format from 2003 to 2004, Chelsea have only had a long unbeaten series in the competition once (13 games between 2008 and 2010).
  • Zenit Saint Petersburg have been without a win in the last seven UEFA Champions League games (U1, U6) – the longest series without a win in the history of the European Cup / UEFA Champions League. In fact, they couldn’t win all six group stage games in competition last season (U1, 5).
  • In the history of the UEFA Champions League, the reigning champions lost their first game of the following season only twice out of 27 times (AC Milan 1994-95 and Liverpool 2019-20). Of the 18 occasions in which the reigning champions started the following season with a home game, however, a team has never been beaten (S12, 6).