Red Bull Salzburg vs Chelsea Champions League latest team news, lineups and more – live

RB Salzburg vs Chelsea

Chelsea had never met RB Salzburg prior to this season’s Champions League group stage. Salzburg are the third side from Austria that Chelsea have faced in European competition after Austria Vienna in 1994/95 and Wiener Sport-Club in 1965/66.

Group E permutations

Chelsea will be through to the round of 16 if they win tonight, or if they draw and AC Milan win against Dinamo Zagreb. The Blues will be confirmed in first place if they win and Dinamo do not.

Salzburg will be through to the round of 16 if they win and Milan do not.

Loftus-Cheek eyes outside chance of making World Cup squad

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is hoping his form and consistency will put him in the running to make it into Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the World Cup in Qatar next month.

The 26-year-old played for England at the 2018 World Cup but has not added to his 10 caps since rupturing his Achilles in May 2019 and after a couple of seasons fighting to get back to top shape he is now holding down a more regular spot in Chelsea’s starting XI.

“This is the most I have played for Chelsea, consistently, which is another positive,” said Loftus-Cheek, “As a young player going to the 2018 World Cup you see your trajectory going [up] and to obviously be at the next World Cup, if all goes well.

“A lot has happened in that time and I am just happy and grateful to be fit and healthy and playing football now, consistently.

“That’s all I can ask for, and if I go to the World Cup on the back of what I am doing now, it would mean the world to me, but that is not at the forefront of my mind at the moment.”

Graham Potter insists N’Golo Kante’s injury will not distract from contract talks

Graham Potter has insisted N’Golo Kante’s four-month injury lay-off will not affect any new contract talks with Chelsea.

Kante’s latest hamstring problem requires surgery, ruling the France talisman out of the Qatar World Cup.

The World Cup-winning midfielder’s Stamford Bridge contract expires next summer, and a string of hamstring and knee problems have ravaged his last three years in west London.

Chelsea are understood to be chasing new midfield recruits in January and the summer, but manager Potter insisted the Blues’ only focus now is to help Kante recover from his latest setback.

Graham Potter insists N’Golo Kante’s injury will not distract from contract talks

Kante’s deal at Stamford Bridge is up in the summer but the Chelsea midfielder is currently out with a hamstring injury.

Salzburg vs Chelsea early team news and predicted line-ups

Salzburg’s Matthias Jaissle will likely have to contend without Justin Omoregie (hamstring), Fernando (thigh), Ousmane Diakite (ACL), Nicolas Capaldo (knee), Sekou Koita (thigh) and Dijon Kameri (shoulder).

And there is now a doubt over Luka Sucic (adductor), but captain Andreas Ulmer could return, while Strahinja Pavlovic will serve a suspension domestically after last weekend’s red card but can play here.

Chelsea are without Wesley Fofana (knee), Reece James (knee) and N’Golo Kante (hamstring), while Kalidou Koulibaly (knee) is “not too serious” after missing last weekend’s draw with Manchester United but this game comes too soon.

Mateo Kovacic (knee) is building his fitness back up and being carefully managed. A premature introduction at the weekend from the bench may ensure another case of resting the Croatian.

Predicted line-ups

Salzburg XI: Kohn; Dedic, Solet, Pavlovic, Ulmer; Kjaergaard, Gourna-Douath, Seiwald; Sucic; Okafor, Sesko

Chelsea XI: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Silva, Chilwell; Gallagher, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek; Mount, Havertz, Sterling

RB Salzburg vs Chelsea

Hello and welcome to The Independent’s coverage of tonight’s Champions League games.

Chelsea are in action in the 5.45pm kick off as they attempt to qualify for the knockout stages with a win over RB Salzburg in Austria. The previous clash between these two teams ended in a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge – which was also manager Graham Potter’s first game in charge of the Blues – and only one point separates them in Group E. With only one group stage fixture left to play after this match Chelsea can advance to the next stage of the competition if they pick up three points tonight and may even secure their place at the top of the group as long as Dinamo Zagreb also defeat AC Milan.

Following this game Celtic host Shakhtar Donetsk in what could prove to be a vital game for their European campaign this year. The Hoops cannot qualify for the last-16 in the Champions League but there is still an opportunity for them to finish third in Group F and drop down to the Europa League. However Ange Postecoglou’s men will likely need to win both of the remaining fixutres starting with picking up three points against the Ukrainian side tonight.

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