Chelsea will be looking to get their Champions League campaign back on track when they travel to Ukraine to face current group leaders Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday night.
The Blues won their opening fixture at Stamford Bridge against Maccabi Tel Aviv, but they were beaten 2-1 by Jose Mourinho’s former side, FC Porto, last time out.
That loss in Portugal was followed up by a home defeat to Southampton in the Premier League, but the West London outfit will be hoping that Saturday’s 2-0 win against Aston Villa at the Bridge will be a turning point in their season, both domestically and in Europe.
It was their third victory in nine games in England’s top-flight this term, and they were certainly helped by the return of striker Diego Costa from a three-match ban – the Spaniard scored both of his side’s goals.
Chelsea will be facing the team managed by former Tottenham striker Sergei Rebrov for the first time in their history, but will look to take advantage of the Ukrainian champions losing their 38-match unbeaten run in the Premier League on Friday – they were on the wrong side of a 3-0 scoreline at home to Shakhtar Donetsk.
Dynamo are looking to get out of the group stages for the first time in 11 attempts, but have made a positive start to their campaign with a 2-2 draw against Porto, which was followed up by a 2-0 success in Tel Aviv.
Loic Remy and Pedro will both miss out with minor injuries for the visitors, while Radamel Falcao is likely to have to settle for a place on the bench again with Mourinho saying he has to “give more” if he is to start ahead of Costa.
Eden Hazard, who is without a Chelsea goal in his last 15 appearances, was left on the substitutes’ bench against Villa, but should return to the starting line-up for this fixture, while summer signing Baba Rahman could replace the injured Branislav Ivanovic.
For the hosts, Rebrov is sweating on the fitness of midfielder Sergei Rybalka, and the former Spurs attacker will be hoping the 25-year-old is available.
Group Position: Dynamo Kiev – 1st, 4 points; Chelsea – 3rd, 3 points
Last Meeting: No previous meeting
Key Men: Dynamo Kiev – Andriy Yarmolenko ; Chelsea – Diego Costa
Form: Dynamo Kiev – WWWWWL ; Chelsea – WWDLLW
Shoot Says: Dynamo Kiev 1-1 Chelsea