Chelsea welcome Dinamo Zagreb to Stamford Bridge in their concluding Group E clash in 2022-23 UEFA Champions League.
Chelsea are already qualified as Group E winners for the knockout stage so have little to play for other than momentum and pride.
Dinamo Zagreb meanwhile must win and hope that Red Bull Salzburg lose in order to snatch third and qualify for the Europa League Knockouts.
Kalidou Koulibaly could return for Chelsea after he missed their last three matches with a knee injury.
Kepa Arrizabalaga (foot) won’t be risked after he was substituted at half-time in their defeat at Brighton on Saturday, meaning that Edouard Mendy could start in goal for the first time since Graham Potter took charge.
Mateo Kovacic (calf) is a doubt but Reece James, Wesley Fofana (both knee) and N’Golo Kante (hamstring) remain absent.
Dinamo Zagreb are expected to be without Bosko Sutalo (ankle) and Josip Sutalo (muscle) who both remain absent.
- Chelsea lost their only previous meeting against Dinamo Zagreb as they lost 1-0 away from home in September 2022.
- Dinamo Zagreb are visiting Stamford Bridge for the very first time in all UEFA competitions.
- This is Chelsea’s first home game against Croatian opposition in all competitions at Stamford Bridge.
- Chelsea have scored eight goals and conceded twice in four Champions League matches under Potter, who took over following their opening defeat to Dinamo Zagreb.
- Two of Zagreb’s three goals in this group were scored by Mislav Orisic.
Having produced a defensive horror show coupled with sloppy end product at Brighton befitting of Halloween weekend, Chelsea now simply must reset and learn how to handle an aggressive high press and make better clearances from corners than they did on Saturday.
Dinamo Zagreb meanwhile know that only a win would keep them in Europe beyond Xmas so I do expect them to come and try attack this game, knowing that Chelsea’s defence could be there for the taking if can adopt an aggressive high press from the first whistle.
Either way, all eyes will be on Chelsea to see if they can deliver an immediate response and I do expect them to hit back here if they can quickly get control of this game.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Dinamo Zagreb
Result: Chelsea 2-1 Dinamo Zagreb