Zenit centre-back Dmitry Chistyakov revealed he and his teammates have a strategy to fend off Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku this evening.

Speaking to the club media, Chistyakov said there will be a design in place to halt the Belgian’s progress tonight if he plays.

Of course, even the best-laid plans sometimes go wrong.

In the case of Lukaku, he is usually the destroyer of defensive agreements.

Chelsea v Aston Villa - Premier League
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Not many in the last two seasons have managed to hold the 28-year-old down on the canvas.

His powers were restored after signing for Inter Milan, with the Serie A sunshine adding fuel to a flame that had been flickering weakly for a while.

Fully charged and ready for battle, Chelsea re-signed him last month for a club-record fee; the price is already being paid back.

Three goals in as many games back in blue for Lukaku is surely just a sign of things to come.

Chelsea v Aston Villa - Premier League
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Next on the agenda: to score a Champions League goal for the reigning holders.

Thomas Tuchel’s team take on Zenit later today at Stamford Bridge, with their no.9 hoping to build upon his tally.


Look at, Lukaku

In his way – among others- will be Chistyakov, who confidently predicted the Russian side would be able to handle Lukaku’s presence.

“We look at every opponent in every upcoming game and tomorrow’s match will be about how to stop him,” he said.

“He is in phenomenal form, so we’ll see if our plan works out or not, but I believe that it will succeed.”

Perhaps Chistyakov should avoid letting Lukaku know he is yet to actually play in the Champions League.

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Like a shark smelling blood, Chelsea’s centre-forward will pray on any sign of weakness.

But only if Thomas Tuchel lets him off the leash.

There are plenty of other attacking options the Blues could set loose, including Timo Werner, who is in need of a net ripple.

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