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UEFA Champions League: Chelsea vs Salzburg – Match Preview

Following Dinamo Zagreb’s victory over Chelsea on the first day of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) last week, Thomas Tuchel’s 100-game run as Chelsea’s manager came to an end.

Graham Potter is now in charge, and his first task is to prevent Chelsea from losing their first two games in a UCL campaign for the first time. This is his first experience managing in Europe’s premier club tournament.

The Blues often perform well on European evenings and have only lost six of their past 31 UCL games, despite their erratic domestic record this season (W3, D1, L2) (W19, D6). The fact that Chelsea has only lost one of their last 20 home UCL group stage games speak much about Stamford Bridge (W13, D6).

After holding six-time winners AC Milan to a 1-1 draw in the first game of their fourth consecutive UCL campaign, Salzburg will be prepared to challenge when they come to the Bridge. The Austrian Football Bundesliga champions, who lost only one of their 11 games this season (W9, D1) while preserving eight clean sheets, may not have been too startled by the outcome in Salzburg.

Unfortunately, their strong continental play doesn’t carry over, as Salzburg has won only two of their last 14 away European games (D2, L10 – excluding qualifying). That includes the fact that they failed to win a UCL away game last season (D1, L3), the first time they have ever done so.

Watch out for Chelsea’s Raheem Sterling, who has never lost in this competition despite scoring 17 of his 24 UCL goals at home (W18, D2). Noah Okafor, a rising star for Salzburg, has contributed to six goals in his past six games (G5, A1) after scoring the game’s first goal and two of his previous three goals.

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