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Predictions for Chelsea vs. Dinamo Zagreb: Dinamo can win without going over the Bridge

Chelsea have already won Group E and will be hoping to avenge their defeat in Zagreb when they host a Dinamo side still bidding to extend their European campaign on Matchday 6 at Stamford Bridge.

The first battle of the Blues in this group went the way of the Croatian champions with the 1-0 loss at Stadion Maksimir precipitating the removal of Thomas Tuchel from the Chelsea hotseat back in September.

That remains Dinamo’s only victory in the section, but they can finish third and reach the Europa League knockout round play-offs if they win in London and FC Salzburg lose to AC Milan.

Graham Potter’s side have little but pride and a sense of duty to play for so the coach is likely to rest and rotate some key players in and out of his line-up for the dead rubber as far as the hosts are concerned.

But he will want to get back to winning ways as quickly as possible following the demoralising defeat at his former club Brighton last Saturday — his first as Chelsea boss — which has dropped them down to sixth in the Premier League.

Team news
Kalidou Koulibaly has been pictured in training and could return to the Blues matchday squad.

The Senegal international suffered a minor injury that has seen him miss Chelsea’s last three games, but Potter admitted that Koulibaly had “an outside chance for Wednesday” when he spoke before the defeat to Brighton.

The Chelsea boss could see this game as an ideal chance to bring the former Napoli defender up to match sharpness ahead of Sunday’s big clash with Arsenal as he also takes care with his other central defensive options.

Thiago Silva has had to play in Chelsea’s last three games, all in the space of seven days, and the club are keen to manage the 38-year-old’s workload.

Potter is still without the services of Wesley Fofana and Reece James, who will continue their rehabilitation programme in Dubai this week, plus N’Golo Kante.

There is also a question mark over Kepa Arrizabalaga’s involvement after he was withdrawn at half-time on Saturday because of a foot problem.

Edouard Mendy is likely to get the nod in goal with two of the other substitutes that were used at the Amex Stadium, Armando Broja and Hakim Ziyech, probable starters too.

Dinamo are dealing with a defensive blow with reports in Croatia claiming centre-back Josip Sutalo will not be fit to make the starting line-up in London.

He was injured in their 4-0 home defeat to Milan last week and missed Dinamo’s 1-0 league loss to Osijek on Saturday.

Rasmus Lauritsen could be paired with Dino Peric in central defence with Kevin Theophile-Catherine, who started in Osijek, reverting to the bench.

Defender Bosko Sutalo is out until at least January with a broken leg.

The latest Chelsea vs Dinamo Zagreb odds are available on LiveScore Bet
Chelsea defender Kalidou Koulibaly may feature in Wednesday’s Champions League clash
Chelsea defender Kalidou Koulibaly may feature in Wednesday’s Champions League clash
The stats
Chelsea’s 4-1 loss at Brighton saw them concede two own goals for the first time in a game in the Premier League.

Dinamo have lost seven of their previous nine European games away to English opposition, earning their only victory against West Ham in last season’s Europa League group stage.

With 36 clearances in this season’s Champions League to his name, Dinamo’s Peric has attempted four more clearances than anyone else in the group stage of the competition.

Only Neymar (17) and Juan Cuadrado (15) have suffered more fouls than Dinamo Zagreb forward Bruno Petkovic (14) in this year’s group stage.

Dinamo Zagreb’s last away win in the Champions League was back in November 1998, so it will be an historic night for the visitors if they can return home with all three points.

Chelsea come into this game off the back of a bad defeat, with some key players out, and have nothing to play for — so all the ingredients are there for an upset.

However, Dinamo’s form has dipped in the last couple of weeks and they arrive on the back of a 4-0 home loss to Milan and a 1-0 league defeat to an inferior opponent.

Sunday’s Premier League meeting against Arsenal is much more important to the Blues than this game and that could prove a factor if the visitors stay on terms in the early going.