The Champions League is back! The most prestigious competition for the European clubs is entering its decisive phase, as there are two rounds left to the end. Then we will find out who will be qualified, who will get demoted to the Europa League, and who will end the adventure with the cups this season. As part of the match week 5, Chelsea will travel to Austria, where they will play against FC Salzburg.
Saturday’s clash with Manchester United was a very close match, but with emphasis on visitors from the north of England. Nevertheless, the Stamford Bridge remained unsatisfied, as Jorginho turned a spot kick into a goal in the 87th minute. The lead could not be kept until the end as Casemiro equalized for the club from Old Trafford in the fourth minute of added time. It is regrettable, because even after such a fierce match, there was a chance for victory. However, the game ended with a split point, which means that The Blues under Graham Potter has yet to taste defeat, drawing three times and scoring five wins.
Trevoh Chalobah was chosen as the player of the match. The young Englishman was given the chance due to an injury to Wesley Fofana and he has been doing really well since then. On Saturday he was even close to scoring a goal, but the ball bounced off the crossbar from his header. It looks like he will keep his place in the starting line-up until the start of the Qatar World Cup as long as he avoids any injuries. Fofana is unlikely to come back before the World Cup, Thiago Silva is unable to play every three days and Kalidou Koulibaly did not participate in Monday’s practice session.
At the pre-match press conference, Graham Potter admitted that he expected Koulibaly to return on Wednesday or Thursday. Thus, the Englishman rather ruled out the Senegalese participation in tomorrow’s meeting. The coach also added that Marc Cucurella’s change (in the 36th minute) was due to a tactical reason.
The coach commented on the creativity of their next opponent and praised the rival’s business model. ” I think they did it really, really well. They have had fantastic success with a clear identity of how they want to play. This gives them clarity on what they need, and they adapt their resources to it. Just look at this club to know that they did it very well.”
FC Salzburg is currently having an impressive unbeaten streak since the end of July when they lost to Sturm Graz (1-2) and since then they have not left the pitch defeated. Almost three months without losing make quite an impression. Someone will say that they do not have much competition in the Austrian Bundesliga, but the Austrian team also unbeaten in the Champions League. Salzburg scored six times on four rounds, winning once and drawing three times, including the game which Graham Potter debuted his role as Chelsea coach. In terms of league games, the Austrian champions have 30 points after 13 games, two more than Sturm Graz. Looking at the composition of the Austrian team, the average age of 22.1 is immediately noticeable.
Coach Matthias Jaissle will undoubtedly prepare his charges for wave attacks from the visitors. The hosts, as in the previous clash, will count on counterattacks after taking over the ball. The task of Potter and his staff is also to sensitize their defenders to such outings. It is therefore important to focus under the opponent’s goal in order to avoid unwanted loss, and also to interrupt the dynamic forays attacking FC Salzburg as soon as possible.
The September clash of both clubs was the first in history. Austrian fans were certainly satisfied with the result, unlike The Blues fans. On Tuesday evening Chelsea are counting on a better attitude. victory would definitely be welcomed after two consecutive draws in the league.