Date: Wednesday 5th October 2022
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 20:00 BST
Tonight sees a return to Stamford Bridge for Fikayo Tomori and Olivier Giroud as we play host to AC Milan in the Champions League.
We left it late to get a win over Crystal Palace at the weekend after going a goal down, it wasn’t easy and it wasn’t the most convincing performance but we had the character and the flashes of skill to take all 3-points, and we’ll take late wins with goals like that all day long. Our opponents also had a win at the weekend, against Empoli.
In the Champions League, we’re rock bottom and without a win from our first two games against Dinamo Zagreb and Red Bull Salzburg, whilst Milan top the group with four points after beating Zagreb and also drawing against Salzburg.
We’ve gone 8 games at home without defeat, but the Rossoneri arrive without a defeat in their last eight away from home and irrespective of a sizeable injury list, have looked decent this season.
On paper you could probably predict a draw….we don’t play on A4 though.
Going into today’s game, Chelsea manager Graham Potter, says “We’re playing against a different team with a different way of playing. They are a top team as well, as Salzburg were in terms of how competitive they were. Every game is different, every football match is different. We are looking forward to the game. It’s a massive challenge for us and an exciting challenge for us. It’s one we are looking forward to and we have to be really good to get the result we want. It’s important to win our home game and win if we can. But we are playing against t top opponent and we have to play well and create a good atmosphere to get our supporters behind us. That is our job and, as I said, we’re looking forward to it.”
AC Milan manager Stefan Pioli, meanwhile, says “We want to be competitive, and in order to do that you have to face every single game to the best of your abilities, trying to give your all throughout the match. We are aware that we face a big team who won the Champions League two years ago, but we have our own mentality and our way of setting up on the pitch, so we’ll try to do the same. Predictions are made on paper, but what happens on the pitch can make for different performances and results. I think the outcome of the Dinamo Zagreb vs. Chelsea result was unexpected to many, while playing in the Champions League means you have to put in a top performance throughout the game.
Chelsea changed coach and so we’ll face a highly motivated team. We prepared well, we know how important this match is, but I don’t believe it will be decisive, as the final two group games will be decisive. We are still playing in a wonderful atmosphere and want to have our say. We have to be good technically, tactically and in terms of controlling the ball. Very simply, either we dominate the game or the other team will dominate us. We want to take control of the match, knowing full well we are up against an opponent with great quality, who have a rapid attacking unit with good technique, so we have to be solid and focused in defence. What matters though is that we play with our spirit and try to attack, to be dangerous, because that’s what we can do and what we want to do.”
For Chelsea, N’golo Kante (hamstring) is back in training but not expected to feature, Marc Cucurella (illness) is also unlikely to be available, and Jorginho (abdominal) is a doubt. Carney Chukwuemeka faces a late assessment but Edouard Mendy (knee) may be available.
For AC Milan, Theo Hernandez, Mike Maignan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Divock Origi, Junior Messias and Alessandro Florenzi are all out. Simon Kjaer, Davide Calabria (hamstring) and Alexis Saelemakers (knee) are also doubts.
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Kepa; James, Fofana, Silva, Chilwell; Mount, Kovacic, Gallagher; Pulisic; Aubameyang, Sterling
MILAN (Possible line-up): Tatarusanu; Dest, Kalulu, Tomori, Ballo-Toure; Tonali, Bennacer; Krunic, De Ketelaere, Leao; Giroud
CURRENT FORM (ALL)
- This is the first time Chelsea and AC Milan have met in the Champions League since the 1999-2000 first group stage
- Both previous games between the sides ended in draws.
- Raheem Sterling scored his first Champions League goal for Chelsea in their game against Red Bull Salzburg.
Sportsmole: Chelsea 1-1 AC Milan