Malang Sarr and Ross Barkley make rare starts, while Olivier Giroud leads the line for Chelsea, who will be taking on Zenit St Petersburg shortly.
Thomas Tuchel has made wholesale changes to the side that started in the 3-2 defeat to West Ham United this past weekend, as Chelsea get set to lock horns with Zenit St Petersburg in their final UEFA Champions League Group H fixture.
The first shuffle comes in goal, where Kepa Arrizabalaga comes in for Edouard Mendy for a rare start in Europe. As for the central defensive unit, Andreas Christensen is the only player to retain his spot, with Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger making way for Malang Sarr and Cesar Azpilicueta.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 8, 2021
Azpilicueta also dons the armband for Chelsea against Zenit and will support Reece James on the right flank. As for the left wing-back slot, it seems like Saul Niguez could have been picked to essay the role, having done so at Atletico Madrid. Saul and James will flank Mason Mount and Ross Barkley in the middle of the park.
Up ahead in the attacking unit, the big news comes in the form of Romelu Lukaku’s return. The Belgian striker will be leading the line for Chelsea against Zenit, with Timo Werner and Callum Hudson-Odoi joining him in the final third. Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic are backup attacking options on the bench.
Chelsea Starting Lineup: Kepa, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Sarr, James, Mount, Barkley, Saul, Hudson-Odoi, Werner, Lukaku