Date: Wednesday 14th September 2022
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 20:00 BST
Here we go then, another game, another manager and tonight, we take on Red Bull Salzburg and new manager Graham Potter takes his place in the Chelsea dug-out.
Our game against Fulham was postponed at the weekend following the sad death of Queen Elizabeth II, so that gave Potter a bit of time to get his head around his new role after his swift appointment and hopefully get the measure of his new group of players. The sacking of Tuchel came as a bit of a surprise but only because of the speed with which he was dispatched, I mean, the press must have been gutted they didn’t even get time to run the usual stories linking us with half a dozen prospective successors before it happened. Realistically though, it was apparent all was not well and hadn’t been for quite some time.
Tuchel’s last game in charge was our opening Group E game against Dinamo Zagreb and it was bloody awful. The performance was awful, the attitude was awful and the decisions just defied belief. We could almost never predict a starting XI or where anyone might be playing any given week, but bringing on Ziyech and Pulisic when you’re chasing a game? That’s a whole different level of confusion….and so it played out.
So, with that defeat behind us, its Salzburg at Stamford Bridge as we try to get some points in the group. The visitors will bring an attacking threat, so our defence will need to look a lot livelier than it has done so far this season. They had a better opening game than us and came away with a 1-1 draw against AC Milan and whilst Salzburg are in the group stage for the fourth successive season, for Potter, its his maiden voyage in the competition as well as his first game with us. The Austrian outfit have also had seven wins from their eight domestic games so far, whilst we’ve lost three of our last five games in all competitions.
No pressure for the new manager though….
Going into today’s game, Chelsea manager Graham Potter, says “It’s a good time for me to get into the dugout. My experiences in the Champions League are just at supporter level. But obviously I’ve experienced the Europa League with Ostersund, winning at Galatasaray and getting through the group stage.
This is an amazing evening for us, for all of us: it’s very exciting. At the same time, you can imagine we’ve been preparing a team, preparing for a game, getting to know the players and people at the training ground. We’re really looking forward to it. Wherever we would start it would be a heck of an introduction, wherever we start it’s going to be brilliant, so why not start here?”
Salzburg manager Matthias Jaissle, meanwhile, says “We haven’t seen any games of the new manager with Chelsea, but we know about their individual quality. We have analysed their character and the new manager with ideas from (his) old club. We are very well prepared. It was incredible, just the drive here, to go through London, to come here to here to the stadium, to soak up the atmosphere, it’s something incredible – it’s a dream come true for me.”
For Chelsea, N’golo Kante (hamstring) and Edouard Mendy (knee) remain out.
For Salzburg, Maximilian Wober, Oumar Solet, Kamil Piatkowski, Bryan Okoh, Mamady Diambou, Ousmane Diakite, Samson Tijani, Luka Sucic, Justin Omoregie and Sekou Koita are all expected to be absent.
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Kepa; Fofana, Silva, Koulibaly, James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Cucurella; Mount, Aubameyang, Sterling
SALZBURG (Possible line-up): Kohn; Dedic, Pavlovic, Ulmer, Bernardo; Capaldo, Seiwald, Kjaergaard; Kameri; Sesko, Okafor
CURRENT FORM (ALL)
- This is the first competitive meeting between the two sides
- The only previous meeting was a friendly in 2019
- Chelsea have lost three of the last five matches across all competitions
- Salzburg have never beaten an English club in a European competition.
- Chelsea 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.
Sportsmole: Chelsea 2-0 Salzburg