Chelsea will host Red Bull Salzburg in their second Champions League Group E tie on Wednesday, with the Blues looking to win Graham Potter’s first match in charge of the club.
Thomas Tuchel, who won the competition in his first season in charge of Chelsea, will not be in the dugout for this tie after being sacked following a shocking 1-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb last week.
Potter, who replaced him just over 24 hours later, will now be tasked with getting Chelsea’s European campaign back on track.
Chelsea are one of the teams whose Premier League fixtures have been affected by the Queen’s death, and they have had a lot of time to bond with their new head coach.
The blow of their opening game defeat in Zagreb was softened by Salzburg’s 1-1 draw with AC Milan, which means Chelsea are just one point behind both of their biggest group stage rivals.
Noah Okafor’s 28th-minute strike was cancelled out by Alexis Saelemaekers’ cool finish, and neither side was able to snatch the winning goal before fulltime.
Chelsea and Salzburg have only ever met once before, their matchup coming back in pre-season of 2019 when the Blues beat Salzburg 5-3 in Austria.
Salzburg’s Champions League campaign ended at the Round of 16 stages last season when they were hounded 8-2 on aggregate by Bayern Munich.
However, judging by their league form this season and their pulsating draw at home to Milan, Salzburg are no pushovers and will come into the game in a confident mood.
Chelsea have had a tumultuous week with the change in managers and the news of Queen Elizabeth’s death.
Their Premier League games have been postponed, which means new manager Potter will not take charge of his first league game at the club until October.
The Blues have struggled for consistency and results this season, with just three wins from seven games across all competitions.
However, now led by the ever-innovative Potter, they will be looking to begin a new era with a win, and Salzburg are the first team to stand in their way.
Salzburg’s visit will be Potter’s first ever competitive match as a manager in the Champions League.
With an array of talents in the Chelsea locker room, it will be intriguing to see how the new boss approaches the game.
Salzburg have enjoyed an almost perfect start to the season. They have lost just one of their eight league games so far and have won their last five matches in a row.
They are competing in the Champions League group stage for the fourth successive campaign, having reached the knockout stages for the first time last season.
Despite being humbled by Bayern Munich at the last-16 stage last season, Salzburg have stood by Matthias Jaissle as their head coach.
The 34-year-old will be looking to help Salzburg progress through the group stages for only the second time as well as lift a tenth successive Austrian Bundesliga title this season.
Their draw against Milan will do their confidence the world of good as they travel to face an untested Chelsea side under Potter, especially with Noah Okafor and Benjamin Sesko in top form.
Chelsea vs RB Salzburg Potential Line-ups
Chelsea (3-4-3): Kepa Arrizabalaga; Kalidou Koulibaly, Thiago Silva, Wesley Fofana; Marc Cucurella, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, Reece James; Raheem Sterling, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mason Mount.
RB Salzburg (4-3-1-2): Philipp Kohn; Andreas Ulmer, Strahinja Pavlovic, Bernardo, Amar Dedic; Nicolas Capaldo, Nicolas Seiwald, Maurits Kjaergaard; Dijon Kameri; Noah Okafor, Benjamin Sesko.
How to Watch?
Chelsea vs RB Salzburg, alongside all other matches in Europe’s most prestigious club competition this season, is available to watch online via Champions League live streams. And if you are interested in attending a future Champions League game, see our Champions League tickets page for more information.
Chelsea vs RB Salzburg Prediction
Chelsea should be highly motivated to go into the game gunslinging, especially with a new manager at the helm and an elongated preparation period.
Salzburg are missing several key players through injury, especially in defence, and they may struggle to keep the Blues at bay, so we back Chelsea to come away with a home win.
Chelsea 3-1 RB Salzburg
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