Friday, January 28 2022

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Chelsea would prefer to win its Champions League group by beating Zenit Saint-Petersburg on Wednesday in Russia, but won’t risk much just for a seeded place in the Round of 16 (start time 12:45pm ET with live updates via NBCSports.com).

Zenit, meanwhile, knows that it won’t be playing at home in the European Cup final but has even less to play for besides the home crowd.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

Zenit will head to the Europa League, but the long travel for Chelsea means nothing is assured for the Blues, who could be passed for the group win by Juventus.

The Turin side faces Malmo in Sweden, but will only pass Chelsea by bettering the Blues’ result.

Zenit team news, injuries, lineup options

Goalkeeper Stanislav Kritsyuk is out through injury, while Dmitri Chistyakov and Yarosklav Rakitskiy miss out with card suspensions.

Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup options

Mateo Kovacic is out with a positive COVID-19 test, while Trevoh Chalobah, N’Golo Kante, and Ben Chilwell are out with injuries. Marcos Alonso and Kai Havertz are likely back, while Jorginho is a question mark.

Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Don’t tell the bookies Chelsea has little to win and a long way to travel, because a Blues win pays just -195 and a draw hands out +320. If Zenit wins, the payoff is +540.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.

Prediction

We’d love to have the benefit of Chelsea’s Starting XI before making this call, especially knowing that St. Petersburg’s weather is set to be a balmy 5 degrees Fahrenheit… and under a retractable roof. Zenit 1-1 Chelsea.

How to watch Zenit vs Chelsea live, stream and start time

Kick off: Wednesday, 12:45pm ET

Online: Live updates via NBCSports.com

How to watch: Paramount+

Follow @NicholasMendola

Zenit vs Chelsea: How to watch UCL, team news, odds, prediction, time originally appeared on NBCSports.com

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