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Chelsea vs Zenit St Petersburg Tips - Back Blues to win 2-0

  • UEFA Champions League Group H Round 1 match will be held at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday
  • Chelsea blasted Aston Villa 3-0 in the EPL over the weekend
  • Zenit defeated Akhmat Grozny in their last outing
  • This is the first meeting between the two sides
Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku (MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images)
European champions Chelsea begin the defence of their title with a tough clash against Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg.

Chelsea upset the form book, beating Manchester City 1-0 in last season’s final in Porto, while Zenit failed to get out of the group stage, losing five of their six matches.

Tuesday’s game takes place at Stamford Bridge.

In Champions League history, the reigning champions have only lost their first game of the following campaign on two of 27 occasions (AC Milan in 1994-95 and Liverpool in 2019-20). Of the 18 times when they have begun the following campaign with a home game, however, no side has ever been beaten (W12 D6).

Chelsea have made a positive start to their new Premier League season and sit second in the table after defeating Aston Villa 3-0 on Saturday. Tomas Tuchel’s side are unbeaten in their last 11 Champions League group stage games (W7 D4), with their last defeat coming against Valencia in September 2019.

Chelsea are 1.18 to beat Zenit and 8.00 to retain their Champions League title. This looks an easy start for the Blues, who are 1.06 favourites to win in Group H, which also comprises Juventus and Malmo.

Russian Premier League champions for a third successive season, Zenit have started well in their bid to retain their domestic title and top the table after going unbeaten in their first seven games.

However, they have not fared well in Europe of late.

Zenit are winless in their last seven Champions League games (D1 L6) – their longest run without a victory in Europe’s top club competition. They managed just one draw from six in the group phase last season and are 19.00 to win at Stamford Bridge. The draw is on offer at 6.5.

Chelsea will be mindful of striker Artem Dzyuba. In just 18 Champions League starts for Zenit, he has been directly involved in 13 goals (nine goals, four assists) and is 5.00 to score at any time.

Chelsea’s success in Europe is partly down to a strong defence. Since the start of the 2020-21 season, no team lost fewer games in the competition (one) or kept more clean sheets (nine) than Chelsea, including last season’s final against Manchester City. The Blues are 1.57 to keep a clean sheet against Zenit and it is 7.00 they win 1-0.

Romelu Lukaku has 13 goals in 27 Champions league games for Manchester United and Inter Milan. The Belgian striker has also found the net against his last two Russian opponents and, after a brace against Villa on Saturday, is 1.6 to score at any time and 3.1 to grab the first goal.

Likewise, Timo Werner has scored four times and claimed two assists in his limited European action for Chelsea and three of his four Champions League goals have come at Stamford Bridge. He is 2.2 to score at any time.

Verdict

We are backing Chelsea to kick off their title defence with a 2-0 win at home.

Best Bet: Chelsea 2-0 Correct Score @450 at BetMGM - 1 Unit
news image Jonah Baker 14 Sep 2021 View more

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