Chelsea make the long trip to face group stage debutants FC Krasnodar in the Champions League on Wednesday night, each side looking for their first victory after drawing their opening fixtures.
Here is all you need to know about the Group E clash:
Form (All competitions)
Krasnodar are competing in the group stages for the first time after finishing third in the Russian Premier League last season, though they have struggled to replicate that form this time around and currently sit eighth after 12 fixtures.
The momentum from a spirited display in drawing at Rennes in their Champions League opener was swiftly halted by a convincing 3-1 home defeat to league leaders Spartak Moscow at the weekend, Krasnodar now nine points adrift of the summit.
Chelsea’s defensive options will have to be wary of the threat posed by an attacking contingent that has scored 22 league goals already so far this season, however, a tally bettered only by Zenit St Petersburg.
The club possess former Newcastle midfielder Remy Cabella amongst their ranks, the France international currently the club’s leading scorer in all competitions with six goals.
It’s been three successive stalemates for Frank Lampard’s side ahead of this week’s tricky looking trip to Russia, where the west London outfit will be hoping to bounce back with three points.
Back-to-back clean sheets against Sevilla and Manchester United have been welcomed following a shaky start to the season for the Chelsea backline, and Lampard has now spoken of finding the ‘balance’ between his side’s solidity and their expensively assembled attacking options.
Summer signings Timo Werner and Kai Havertz have impressed in flashes but are yet to deliver with consistency, whilst Hakim Ziyech is yet to be handed a starting opportunity as he builds his fitness following an injury sustained in pre-season.
Lampard remains unsure of his best XI or system and he will need to find a settled side and quickly if Chelsea are to produce consistent results, the Champions League an unforgiving environment when it comes to experimentation.
Few expect Chelsea to have much trouble in navigating a group containing two group stage debutants, though their unpredictability remains a concern for the Blues’ supporters.
This will be the first meeting between the sides in European competition.
Krasnodar previously met English opposition when facing Everton in the 2014/15 Europa League, remaining unbeaten and taking four points from two group stage fixtures
Chelsea have previously played Russian sides six times in Europe and have won on five occasions, suffering a 3-2 defeat to Rubin Kazan during the 2012/13 Europa League campaign.
Predicted Line ups
FC Krasnodar: Safonov; Smolnikov, Kaio, Martynovich, Chernov; Gazinskiy, Vilhena, Olsson, Suleymanov, Ramirez; Berg
Who is the referee?
Chelsea: Mendy; James, Silva, Zouma, Chilwell; Kante, Kovacic, Mount; Ziyech, Pulisic, Werner
How can I watch?
UK and Irish readers can watch the game on BT Sport 3, whilst US supporters can view the fixture on fuboTV.
What time is kick off?
Krasnodar – 6/1
Draw – 7/2
Chelsea – 4/9