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Pre-Match Briefing: Chelsea vs Zenit St Petersburg | Official Site | Chelsea Football Club

Our 2021/22 campaign introduces a second competition to the fixture schedule tonight, and it is one dear to our hearts. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton mull over matchday one…
Champions League regulations for 2021/22

Relevant only in the knockout stages is the scrapping of the away goals rule the season. Ties level after a second leg will go to extra time and, if required, a penalty shoot-out, regardless of the number of goals a team has scored on the road.

UEFA will still allow five substitutions to be made (plus a sixth in extra time of knockout ties) from a bench of 12. This system is in place in the domestic leagues of each of our Group H rivals, and Thomas Tuchel believes it is disadvantageous not to have it in the Premier League.

‘I was also a coach for a long time of a little team,’ he noted, ‘and I would have loved it.’


An additional benefit of re-signing Romelu Lukaku is that the Belgian is considered a homegrown player in the Premier League and an ‘association-trained’ one by UEFA. He joins a healthy contingent of 10 homegrown players in Thomas Tuchel’s 25-strong Champions League squad, even before our talented List B (under-21) players are factored in.

In any UEFA squad, only 17 players over the age of 21 can be included who are not club- or association-trained. In the past, with fewer homegrown players available, this has meant the Blues’ main squad has sometimes been capped at 21, augmented by under-21s from List B.

Final stadiums previewed

Group H brings together Chelsea, winners of last year’s final, and Zenit, the hosts of the next one. With luck history will repeat itself.

Last season the Blues saw off Porto in the quarter-finals of this competition before a glorious return to the Stadio do Dragao for the final against Manchester City.

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