Chelsea will resume their 2022/23 UEFA Champions League campaign with a visit from Italian high-flyers AC Milan this Wednesday.
Venue: Stamford Bridge (London)
Chelsea have failed to qualify from just one of their previous 18 UCL groups.
The hosts have recorded just six defeats across Chelsea’s last 32 UCL fixtures.
They have won without reply in six of their last eight competitive matches here (D1, L1).
AC Milan have qualified from 12 of the last 13 UCL group stages.
The hosts have lost their last three games against English opponents.
They are unbeaten in their last 18 away games in all competitions (W12, D6).
They have scored 2+ goals in six of their opening ten competitive games this season.
Head to head
The last UCL meeting between both sides was in the 1999 season when they met in the group stage of the tournament. Nothing could separate both sides over both legs as they played out a 1-1 draw at the San Siro and a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge.
Latest performances in all competitions
AC Milan: W-L-W-W-D
Chelsea will look to record their first win in this season’s campaign when they host AC Milan on Wednesday.
The hosts opened their UCL campaign with a 1-0 loss to Dinamo Zagreb–a shock loss that led to the sacking of Thomas Tuchel.
Graham Potter has so far replaced Tuchel but has so far managed just two games. The first of those games was a 1-1 draw with RB Salzburg, while the second was a 2-1 dramatic win over Crystal Palace last weekend.
And so, the Blues will welcome Milan to Stamford Bridge, desperate to win to ensure that they still have a chance to qualify from this group after three games.
Considering that Chelsea have failed to qualify from just one of their previous 18 UCL groups, they will be confident of qualifying from this fairly easy group.
However, an inconsistent run of results this season, with every match they’ve played producing differing results (W4, D2, L3), means that one cannot put them as favourites for a win in this game. But just six defeats across their last 32 UCL fixtures suggest that improvement could be just around the corner (W17, D9, L6).
Playing at Stamford Bridge will provide a further boost, as the two-time UCL winners have won without reply in six of their last eight competitive matches here (D1, L1).
Possible Chelsea starting line-up
Kepa Arrizabalaga; Reece James, Wesley Fofana, Thiago Silva, Marc Cucurella; Mateo Kovacic, Mason Mount, Connor Gallagher; Raheem Sterling, Kai Havertz, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Doubtful: Jorginho, Edouard Mendy
After suffering a 2-1 loss to Napoli just before the international break AC Milan bounced back last weekend with a convincing 3-1 win over Empoli. The result kept the Italian champions in touch with the Serie A leaders ahead of this crucial clash in London.
They will now turn their attention to maintaining their unbeaten start in UCL action (W1, D1) having taken maximum points against Dinamo Zagreb (2-1) and a point against RB Salzburg (1-1). However, maintaining an unbeaten start in the UCL may be tough, with no fewer than nine players out with injury for Milan.
Although manager Stefano Pioli was quick to highlight the positives from his side’s injury crises, stating that “It’s a chance for everyone to show that we’re a strong squad”.
The Rossoneri have already matched their points haul from last season’s UCL group when finishing bottom, and a repeat of that poor outing in the UCL appears unlikely this time around given their record of qualifying from 12 of the last 13 group stages.
But with three straight losses in their last three games against Premier League sides, which includes home and away defeats to Liverpool in last season’s group stage, Milan must do better than they have done in recent times against teams from this side.
Possible AC Milan starting line-up
Tatarusanu; Sergino Dest, Pierre Kalulu, Fikayo Tomori, Ballo-Toure; Sandro Tonali, Ismael Bennacer; Rade Krunic, Charles De Ketelaere, Rafael Leao; Olivier Giroud.
Injured: Alessandro Florenzi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Divock Origi, Davide Calabria, Theo Hernandez, Mike Maignan
Doubtful: Simon Kjaer
Chelsea 1-1 AC Milan