Chelsea vs Zenit
2020/21 was of course a historic season for Chelsea, who secured only their second-ever Champions League trophy by seeing off Manchester City in the final.
And, with the additions of Romelu Lukaku and Saul Niguez to an already stacked squad, Chelsea fans are no doubt once again expecting Thomas Tuchel to guide their side to the latter stages of the competition.
The Blues’ European journey this campaign begins at home with a clash vs Russian outfit, Zenit.
Along with Zenit, Chelsea have been drawn in Group H alongside Juventus and Malmo – a very winnable group for the Londoners.
Zenit duo out of Chelsea tie
Now, ahead of the tie, Chelsea have been handed a boost as two Zenit players are set to miss out.
One of the main talking points in recent days was Brazil’s decision to punish those clubs who did not release their players for this month’s international games.
The Premier League announced that the competition’s clubs had decided not to release players for international matches due to take place in red-list countries:
This saw Brazil unable to make use of Liverpool trio Alisson, Fabinho, and Roberto Firmino, Manchester City’s Ederson and Gabriel Jesus, Chelsea defender Thiago Silva, Manchester United’s Fred, Leeds forward Raphinha, and Everton striker Richarlison.
On the back of the Premier League clubs refusing to release the stars in question, it was reported by BBC Sport that FIFA are capable of banning players not released in an international window for a period of five days after the window ends.
And, on Wednesday afternoon, the Brazilian FA did do exactly that, with all of the above players, barring Richarlison, banned between the 10th and 14th of September.
This means that Chelsea will be without Thiago Silva on Tuesday. However, as per football.london, Zenit will also be without Malcom and Claudinho for the same reason.