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Chelsea Line Up vs Krasnodar

Hakim Ziyech makes his full Chelsea debut in tonight’s game against Krasnodar.

The winger has featured off the bench three times since the international break, and has now been deemed fit enough to start his first Blues game. It is one of four changes Frank Lampard makes to the side, with the boss reverting to a 4-2-3-1 formation in Russia.

Toni Rudiger comes in for Thiago Silva, and in midfield Mateo Kovacic is handed a first start since the League Cup tie at Tottenham. Reece James is the man to make way for Ziyech, with Cesar Azpilicueta shifting across to right-back. Callum Hudson-Odoi replaces Christian Pulisic to supplement Ziyech, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner going forward.

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Mendy; Azpilicueta (c), Zouma, Rudiger, Chilwell; Jorginho, Jorginho; Ziyech, Havertz, Hudson-Odoi; Werner.

Subs Caballero, Ziger, James, Tomori, Christensen, Emerson, Kante, Mount, Pulisic, Giroud, Abraham.

Krasnodar (4-2-3-1): Safonov; Smolnikov, Kaio, Martynovich, Chernov; Utkin, Vilhena; Olsson, Gazinski, Ramirez; Berg (c).

Subs Gorodov, Sinitsin, Kutovoi, Spertsyan, Sabua, Litvinov, Suleymanov. 

The referee is Ali Palabiyik from Turkey.

Stats recap

Chelsea have never met Krasnodar in European competition. They will be the 55th different side we have met in the Champions League and the fourth from Russia.

We have a good record against Russian teams, winning five of the six encounters.

We won home and away against CSKA Moscow in the 2004/05 Champions League group stage, and won both games at the same stage against Spartak Moscow in the 2010/11.

The most recent meeting was against Rubin Kazan in the Europa League quarter-final on our way to winning the trophy in 2013. We went through 5-4 on aggregate despite losing the second leg away 3-2.

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