Chelsea v Zenit: Lukaku to strike in trademark Blues win

Thomas Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel eyes a winning start to Chelsea's Champions League title defence

Paul Higham has found an odds-against Bet Builder for what should be a trademark Thomas Tuchel style Chelsea win against Zenit St Petersburg on Tuesday...

"A Chelsea win to nil is the only result you can see here, and if you throw in a Lukaku goal into a Bet Builder then you get an odds-against return for what seems a certainty."

Back Lukaku to score and Chelsea win to nil with Bet Builder at around 2.4529/20

Chelsea v Zenit St Petersburg
Tuesday 14 September 20:00 kick-off
Live on BT Sport 2

European champions back in action

Thomas Tuchel's European champions start the defence of their trophy with a friendly enough home fixture against Zenit St Petersburg in the first meeting between the two clubs.

Tuchel must be feeling very confident about his side's chances of retaining the title with the 15/2 fourth favourites going all the way after just half a season with the German boss, who was then able to add Romelu Lukaku to the mix.

Chelsea are seen as near certainties to qualify from Group H containing Juventus, Zenit and Malmo, and are the 8/15 favourites to top the group given Juve's struggles early on this season and the loss of Ronaldo.

Lukaku.jpg

History is very much on Chelsea's side in this game, having never lost to a Russian side in six games and being unbeaten in their last 11 games in the Champions League group stages.

A reigning Champions League winner has never been beaten if playing a home game first in the following year's group stage - and in fact only two champions have been beaten in their first game of the following year full stop.

Blues still based on defence

Both sides have yet to lose in the league this season, with Zenit top of the Russian Premier League but having lost their last three games on English soil and currently sitting on their longest winless run in the Champions League.

They lost five and drew one of their six Champions League games last season and have gone seven games overall now without tasting victory in Europe's premier competition.

Zenit have won five and drawn two of the seven league games but have yet to keep a clean sheet, and that's an important flaw given the red-hot Lukaku lines up in the Chelsea team having scored six in five games for club and country this season.

Tuchel's Chelsea, however, are built around defending properly, where the clean sheet is a prized possession. They kept nine of them in last season's Champions League and only lost one game - both leading statistics in the competition last season.

Chelsea overwhelming favourites, but can Zenit score?

Chelsea are huge, huge favourites at 1.211/5 for this game with Zenit a whopping 1817/1 and even the draw a big price at 6.86/1 with the home side's extra quality within their expensively-assembled squad making them almost impossible to lose on Tuesday.

Zenit have scored in their last 10 games and their biggest hope of a goal comes in the form of Artem Dzyuba, who has scored nine Champions League goals for the club and registered four assists in the 18 Champions League starts he's made for them.

For Chelsea the threats are obvious, with Lukaku scoring 13 goals in 27 Champions League games while Timo Werner has scored four and assisted two in the last year of Champions League football, with three of those four goals coming at Stamford Bridge.

It's that defensive solidity that Tuchel instilled in them from the very first moment he arrived that makes Chelsea such a tough side to beat and such a threat in the Champions League this season.

The odds-on for a win to nil here is still a bet worth taking as you can't really see any other result from this game when you look at it.

And with Lukaku also a crazy price to score anytime it makes sense here to bring out the Bet Builder and combine the two to at least get us an odds-against price.

You can back a Chelsea win, 'no' in the both teams to score market and Lukaku to score anytime, which roughly translated is Lukaku to score and Chelsea win to nil at around 2.41 on the Sportsbook.

That bet looks bulletproof at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

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