By Adegboyega Adeleye
Graham Potter eyes his first win in the Champions League and has made two changes to the side that beat Crystal Palace for tonight’s crucial Champions League match with AC Milan at Stamford Bridge.
The tie between Chelsea and Ac-Millan would see former players, Oliver Giroud and Fikayo Tomori return to Stamford Bridge as well as Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Thiago Silva(captain), facing their former side.
Chelsea lost their opening match 1-0 at Dinamo Zagreb under previous boss Thomas Tuchel and a 1-1 draw with Red Bull Salzburg last month.
Kalidou Koulibaly makes his first start under Potter while Kepa starts in goal ahead of Mendy who makes a return on the bench.
With Jorginho absent and Cesar Azpilicueta on the bench, Thiago Silva will wear the captain’s armband against his former side
Former Chelsea players Olivier Giroud and Fikayo Tomori are both included in the starting XI for an injury-hit AC Milan.
Manager Stefano Pioli makes four changes from the side that beat Empoli on Saturday, including three of his back four, and Tomori is the only player to retain his place.
Chelsea: Kepa; Fofana, Thiago Silva (c), Koulibaly; James, Loftus-Cheek, Kovacic, Chilwell; Mount, Aubameyang, Sterling
Substitutes: Bettinelli, Mendy, Azpilicueta, Cucurella, Chalobah, Gallagher, Jorginho, Zakaria, Havertz, Pulisic, Ziyech, Broja
AC Milan: Tatarusanu; Dest, Kalulu, Tomori, Ballo; Bennacer (c), Tonali; Krunic, De Ketelaere, Leao; Giroud
Substitutes: Mirante, Jungdal, Coubis, Gabbia, Gala, Pobega, Diaz, Rebic, Origi
Referee: Danny Makkelie
Chelsea vs Ac Millan: Statistics
- Chelsea have lost only two of their 13 home European matches against Italian opponents (W8, D3); 1-2 vs Lazio in March 2000 and 0-1 vs Inter Milla in March 2010.
- This is the first time Chelsea and AC Milan have met in the Champions League since the 1999-2000 first group stage, when both games ended in draws.
- Chelsea boss Graham Potter will be just the third English manager to face Milan in the competition, after Sir Bobby Robson with Porto in 1993-94 and Harry Redknapp with Tottenham in 2010-11.
- Raheem Sterling scored his first Champions League goal for Chelsea in their game against Red Bull Salzburg. He could become only the second Blues player to score in his first two home matches in the competition, along with Oscar in 2012-13.
- Chelsea’s Reece James has been involved in 13 sequences of play that ended in a shot in the first two Champions League matchdays this season. Manchester City’s Joao Cancelo (16) is the only full-back to be involved in more.
It is a battle between two former UCL champions as 2020/2021 champions, Chelsea faces seven-time champions, Ac Millan who last won the UCL trophy in 2007.
Both sides last faced each other in the 1999/2000 UCL Group H fixture, the tie ended in a 1-1 draw.