'You have to watch': Marcelo Bielsa makes claim about Chelsea's display against Zenit last night

Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa has said the Chelsea result against Zenit St Petersburg last night doesn’t “reflect their true strength”.

Chelsea recorded a 3-3 draw on Wednesday away to Zenit in their final game of the Champions League groups stages. Unfortunately, conceding a stoppage time equaliser means the Blues finish as runners-up and they’ll face a group winner in the last-16.

Chelsea now turn their attention to the Premier League this Saturday when they host Leeds at Stamford Bridge, though.

Thomas Tuchel’s side were beaten against West Ham in their previous league match, which saw them drop down from first to third in the table. In contrast, Yorkshire club Leeds are 15th in the division with a six-point cushion over the relegation spots.

Upcoming opposition manager Bielsa has been extremely complimentary of Chelsea in the build-up to this weekend’s match. He suggests the Blues played a weakened team last night, plus reckons they were unfortunate to lose to West Ham.

“The performance from yesterday was with a mixed squad. It does not represent their true strength. In the game against West Ham, which was a defeat, you have to watch and analyse if the result matches the performance. I don’t see a lowering in their play… Yesterday’s team was not their habitual team and the result against West Ham, I’m not sure if it’s what they deserved,” Bielsa said.

Photo by Maksim Konstantinov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Will Chelsea changes pay off?

It’s no surprise to hear Bielsa was tuned in for Chelsea’s match yesterday ahead of Saturday, especially as he’s someone who’s a perfectionist and brilliant coach.

He noticed the eight changes Tuchel made to his starting line-up against Zenit.

The likes of Antonio Rudiger, Thiago Silva and Edouard Mendy were all unused substitutes in the Champions League, so perhaps they were given some time off ahead of Leeds.

In addition, the likes of Kai Havertz, Marcos Alonso and Hakim Ziyech played less than 30 minutes after featuring as substitutes.

Chelsea are on a run of one win in their last four matches across all competitions, so desperately need a big response on the weekend.

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A sports journalist who graduated from Staffordshire University in 2016 and is a Chelsea supporter. Loves anything football or cricket related when it comes to England.