FK Krasnodar v Chelsea: Antonio Rudiger set to return for Blues

Rudiger, left, made 26 appearances for Chelsea last season but has not featured for them this term

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard says he has a “positive relationship” with Antonio Rudiger and said the defender could make his first appearance of the season against FK Krasnodar on Wednesday.

Germany international Rudiger, 27, has been left out of the squad for six out of the Blues’ seven games this season.

Chelsea travel to Russia for the Champions League Group E match.

“I’ve had discussions. Sometimes players are out of the squad but he is very much in contention,” said Lampard.

Former Roma defender Rudiger has not played for Chelsea this season, although he has started all five of Germany’s matches this year.

Defender Thiago Silva has been rested for Wednesday’s game, while Lampard is without injured goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and suspended defender Marcos Alonso.

Chelsea drew their group opener 0-0 against Sevilla last week, and have not won in the past three games in all competitions.

“People look at this group and think it is comfortable for us, but we have to have edge against Krasnodar,” said Lampard.

“They are new into the Champions League so will have absolute motivation. We’re very focused on the game.”

What are Chelsea’s chances of qualifying?

Entertainment data company Gracenote say Chelsea have an 87% chance of progressing to the knockout stages.

Simon Gleave, head of sports analysis at Nielsen’s Gracenote, said: “Last week’s goalless draw against group favourites Sevilla was made into an even better result for Chelsea when the two outsiders in the group, Stade Rennais and FC Krasnodar, drew.

“Even after one match, Sevilla and Chelsea both look highly likely to participate in the last 16 next year. Chelsea now have 87% chance of progress according to the Euro Club Index,external-link up slightly on last week.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *