Date:8th December 2021 at 2:30pm
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Chelsea face a long trip to Russia on Wednesday, as they face Zenit St. Petersburg in their final Champions League group fixture, knowing victory will see them top Group H. 

Thomas Tuchel has a depleted squad for the trip to Zenit with Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, Trevor Chalobah, N’Golo Kante and Ben Chilwell all ruled out, while a number of players including Marcos Alonso and Romelu Lukaku are also short of full fitness.

The Blues looked to have surrendered first place in their group after defeat to Juventus in Turin in September, but a scintillating 4-0 victory over the Italian side at Stamford Bridge in November handed control back to them.

Now, they must equal Juventus’ result against Swedish side Malmo in order to top the group and, in theory, secure a favourable draw in the round of 16.

Before the knockout stages begin in February, however, there is the small matter of the January transfer window, and it appears that Tuchel may face a battle to keep hold of some of his stars.

Ziyech has scored three goals across all competitions so far this term

Spanish outlet Sport are reporting that Barcelona have made an approach for both Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner, although the Blues have rebuffed their initial interest.

It is claimed that the La Liga side have made loan moves for both players due to their crippling financial situation and lack of transfer budget, but Tuchel has declined both offers and is insistent on keeping hold of both forwards.

Both players have endured tough starts to their careers at Stamford Bridge since their respective moves to the Premier League last summer.

The Moroccan has scored just nine goals in 54 appearances and has started just four league matches this term, while Werner has scored 15 goals and provided 16 assists in 64 games, but has often been criticised for his wastefulness in front of goal.

The Germany international was often used as a central striker last season, but the signing of Lukaku has limited his game time in that role, while Ziyech’s opportunities have been limited by the return of Cristian Pulisic from injury.

Barcelona, however, are on the hunt for attacking reinforcements as they continue their first season in almost two decades without Lionel Messi’s attacking output to rely on.

The Spanish side reportedly turned to the Blues duo after a proposed move for Manchester City striker Ferran Torres reached difficulties.

 
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