Chelsea have announced their starting line-up for tonight’s Champions League game against Zenit – and some of the club’s fans on Twitter are not too pleased that Timo Werner has been overlooked.

The Blues kickstart the defence of their Champions League crown with a home match at Stamford Bridge against Russian opponent Zenit. 

Manager Thomas Tuchel has opted to make five changes from the team that beat Aston Villa at the weekend in the Premier League. 

Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, Reece James, Jorginho and Mason Mount have all come into the XI. That means Trevoh Chalobah, Thiago Silva, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Saul Niguez and Kai Havertz are the individuals to drop out.

Werner has once again had to make do with a place on the bench as he struggles for regular minutes at the start of this season. The 25-year-old attacker has a big job on his hands due to the competition at the Bridge.

A selection of Chelsea supporters on social media are upset that the German isn’t starting tonight, with plenty shocked at Tuchel’s decision:

Can Chelsea defend European crown?

First of all, it’s worth noting that there has been three different winners in each of the last three Champions League campaigns.

 

Real Madrid went through a rare period of dominance between 2015-18, but over the years it’s proven to be too steep a task trying to defend the Champions League crown.

Secondly, you’d expect this current Blues group to be desperate for domestic success this campaign. The club haven’t won the Premier League since the 2016/17 season.

Chelsea definitely have the quality within the squad to make another attempt at winning the European prize. However, teams around them have strengthened significantly.

Paris Saint-Germain have assembled a group that is frightening on paper, plus Bayern Munich are stacked with superstars. Meanwhile, English rivals Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City all look like they can be genuine contenders this year. 

Chelsea’s defensive resilience was the bedrock of their success last year, so they can challenge again with a similar approach.

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