Chelsea VS Dinamo Zagreb Football Match Score 6 Sept 2022
Chelsea will be encouraged by their hosts failing to keep a clean sheet in their last 10 fixtures, even if you have to go all the way to December for their last defeat at Stadion Maksimir. These two clubs will be meeting for the first time in their history with Chelsea having never faced Croatian opposition in a competitive match. Jorginho will come back into the centre of midfield, while Tuchel is unlikely to deny Mateo Kovacic an opportunity to start against his former club. Ben Chilwell has put himself in line to feature ahead of Marc Cucurella, with Mason Mount and Havertz also in line for recalls after their substitute outings against West Ham.
Chelsea: A win over West Ham on Saturday might have sent the Blues up the Premier League table but it could have been another frustrating weekend for Thomas Tuchel if it were not for a VAR intervention that the Premier League has requested be investigated, so contentious was it. Meanwhile the goal that was actually given for the Hammers was the fourth Chelsea have conceded off set pieces already this season, two more than the 19 games Tuchel was in charge of in 2020-21. It is an issue Tuchel has framed as more mental than technical and after the 2-1 loss at Southampton last week he said his squad “are not tough enough to win these away matches at the moment.” That will surely have been music to the ear of Dinamo supporters who will provide a more intimidating cauldron of noise than St Mary’s or Elland Road.
Dinamo Zagreb are perceived to be the minnows of the group, potentially because they have needed to advance past Shkupi, Ludogorets Razgrad and Bodo/Glimt to reach the group stages for the first time since 2019-20. However, this is a club that reached the 2020-21 Europa League quarter-finals and posted wins over West Ham United and Sevilla in last year’s competition. As many as 22 points and 27 goals have also come from their opening eight league fixtures, and Ante Cacic and his side will relish the chance to pull off the upset against Premier League opposition. Nevertheless,
Tuchel has revealed that Denis Zakaria and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are both in contention for their debuts, but Thiago Silva has been handed a rest. As well as having an extra day of recovery ahead of this game, Cacic also lined up with a side against Rijeka which featured several different players to the crucial win over Bodo/Glimt. However, Cacic could revert back to the team which started against the Norwegian outfit, eventually defeating them by a 4-1 scoreline after extra time. Mislav Orsic has again been the standout player this season, already chipping in with eight goals in Croatia’s top flight and the Champions League qualifying rounds.
Dinamo: The Croatian side’s involvement in the Champions League can often offer an insight into the best and brightest talents emerging from a nation that consistently punches above its weight when it comes to talent production. One player to keep a particularly close eye on will be Marko Bulat, a 20 year old midfielder who shone with newly promoted Sibenik in last year’s top flight and has now made the move to Dinamo. A more familiar name to the global audience might be Mislav Orsic, the man who sent Tottenham crashing out of the Europa League in 2021 with a hat trick. He scored the crucial aggregate equalizer against Bodo/Glimt last month but will not need to shoulder the scoring burden alone with Bruno Petkovic and summer signing Josip Drmic having hit a strong vein of form early in the campaign.
Chelsea begin the 2022-23 Champions League campaign with a trip to Croatia to square off against Dinamo Zagreb. While the Blues earned their place in this group stages through the Premier League, the home side came through three qualifying rounds to book their spot among European football’s elite. Even by Chelsea’s standards, the summer transfer window was chaotic and probably had some influence on the Blues looking far from convincing during their opening fixtures. Nevertheless, Saturday’s controversial 2-1 victory over West Ham United has left the Blues one point above Liverpool and just four points behind a Manchester City side which are supposed to conquer all this campaign.
After a middling start to their Premier League season, Chelsea will be hoping that a return to European competition offers a chance for them to build momentum across the board. However, they will travel to Croatia acutely aware that the Maksimir Stadium has been something of a graveyard for British sides. Tottenham and Arsenal have lost away to Dinamo Zagreb in recent years and the Croatian champions are unbeaten in 19 home games across all competitions, crushing Bodo/Glimt 4-1 in the play off round to overturn a first leg deficit and reach the group stages. They have not got any further than that under the competition’s most recent formats and are not likely to do so this time round. However, Ante Cacic’s side could well cause an upset or two over the coming weeks. Here is how you can watch the match and what you need to know:
Given the substandard level of their defending, Thomas Tuchel will take 10 points from six matches, but the German will know that now is the time for his players to start to deliver the level of performances which are expected and demanded of them. Chelsea have now conceded nine goals – it would have been 10 had VAR not made what felt like a monumental error in the West Ham fixture – in five games, and Tuchel needs to decide whether he is going to operate with a back three or four over the coming weeks. In attack, Chelsea have generally failed to show a clinical touch, with Tuchel left to hope that Kai Havertz’s first goal of the season is the end of his ineffective showings in the final third.