A new era dawns at Chelsea on Wednesday when the Blues take on Austrian outfit Salzburg in Graham Potter’s first game as the club’s new manager. With his new charges keen to impress and Stamford Bridge certain to away with fresh optimism, Chelsea are favourites to earn three points.
Below, we’ve compiled a set of useful stats ahead of Wednesday’s tussle for the bet builder aficionados out there, with data on shots, xG, cards, fouls and more. Hopefully, you can use our research to achieve greater success in the betting markets this week.
Graham Potter’s first Chelsea XI should make for fascinating reading, though ex-Brighton star Marc Cucurella seems certain to start ahead of Ben Chilwell at left wing back having worked under Potter before at Albion.
N’Golo Kante is still out with a hamstring injury, so expect the Blues’ midfield to be built around experienced duo, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho.
The treatment room at FC Salzburg is packed at present and they could be without up to ten players for their trip to London on Wednesday.
Despite their lengthy list of absentees, Salzburg have gone seven games unbeaten in all competitions and they held AC Milan to a 1-1 draw last week. The Roten Bullen will set up with an attack-minded 4-3-1-2 formation against Chelsea.
When you scan Chelsea’s Premier League stats for the season so far, the axing of Thomas Tuchel seems less severe. The Blues’ shots for (11.50) and shots against (10.30) figures as well as their xG for/against (1.66/1.46) per 90 are worryingly similar, while their lofty cards for numbers (2.37) hint at a set of frustrated players.
Simply put, Tuchel wasn’t getting near enough out of an expensively assembled, star-studded squad and Graham Potter will be determined to show that he can.
FC Salzburg have won nine straight domestic titles in Austria and as the country’s top dogs, their statistics understandably make for impressive reading.
The Red Bulls are hitting 2.63 goals per 90 minutes in their homeland and they are allowing opponents to test their keeper just 2.10 times p/90 in the Austrian Bundesliga. Their numbers are unlikely to be quite so noteworthy in the Champions League, however.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Chelsea struggled in the goal-scoring department under Thomas Tuchel, though the addition of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang late in the transfer window should help to sharpen their output in the final third.
So far, Mason Mount ranks highest for shots per 90 (2.05), though perhaps the most salient figure is Kai Havertz’s modest 0.85 shots on target p/90, which is the team’s best for that metric.
With RB Salzburg’s habit of peppering their domestic opponents a factor, their squad is heavily-dusted with high performers in the shooting department.
Junior Adamu is pinging a whopping 2.94 shots on target p/90 in Austria, while Fernando (2.81 SOT p/90) tops the pile for shots registered (5.09). Wonderkid Benjamin Sesko (2.96 shots per 90) made headlines in the summer when he was at the centre of a transfer saga and the 19-year-old has been adding to his burgeoning reputation since.
Player Goals and Assists
Raheem Sterling is starting to find his feet at Chelsea and all three of his Premier League goals were dispatched inside his last three appearances for the Blues (2 vs Leicester, 1 vs Southampton).
Elsewhere, pickings have been slim for Chelsea, however, and Mason Mount, Armando Broja, Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech and Conor Gallagher among others have yet to get off the mark. The Blues drew a collective blank against Dinamo Zagreb last week (0-1).
Swiss star Noah Okafor and South American sensation Fernando have formed a devastating duo domestically for RB Salzburg, netting nine goals combined against the Red Bull’s opponents in Austria.
Okafor and Benjamin Sesko (3 goals in total) both notched at the weekend against Ried (3-0). Talented Brazilian Fernando (3 assists), has been the team’s main creative outlet so far and the 23-year-old set up Okafor for Salzburg’s goal against AC Milan last week.
Kalidou Koulibaly has struggled to come to grips with the pace of the Premier League at times and the ex-Napoli defender has picked up three cards in just five appearances for the Blues.
Kai Havertz (2.34 fouls p/90) has been a foul machine when selected in attack and his three cards in six runouts is a haul that reflects that. Reece James (3 cards) has excellent recovery pace, though he is prone to a mistimed tackle.
Home-grown schemer Dijon Kameri (fouled 1.88 p/90) likes to pull the strings from the number ten position for Salzburg, though the gifted 18-year-old has a light frame and is regularly fouled.
Combative Argentinean Nicolas Capaldo (1.83) is known for his contribution to midfield skirmishes, while Fernando has been fouled 1.75 times per 90 in attack. The 23-year-old could cause issues for awkward mover Koulibaly on Wednesday.
Match-Ups to watch
Kalidou Koulibaly vs Fernando
Reece James vs Dijon Kameri
Kai Havertz vs Nicolas Capaldo
RB Salzburg Cards
Junior Adamu ranks highest at Salzburg for both fouls p/90 (6.47) and bookings (2) in the Austrian Bundesliga this term, though the young attacker will have to be content with a place on the bench at Stamford Bridge.
Instead, look toward the aggression in midfield of Nicolas Capaldo. The 23-year-old was carded after just 17 minutes against AC Milan a week ago and he will have his sights set on Chelsea playmaker Jorginho in London.
Strahinja Pavlović (1.43) is blessed with greater physical than technical traits at the back and he could be twisted into knots by Raheem Sterling’s twinkle toes.
Ben Chilwell has drawn more fouls (4.29 p/90) than any of his Blues’ teammates in the English top flight, however, it’s possible the 25-year-old will be benched by Potter-disciple Marc Cucurella on Wednesday.
Midfield metronome Jorginho has been challenged illegally 2.68 times p/90, while Raheem Sterling’s dribble-heavy style of play (3.33 dribbles per 90) can often tempt opposing defenders into making ill-timed challenges. The same can be said of attacking midfielder Mason Mount, who has been fouled 1.59 times per 90 this season.
Match-Ups to watch
Nicolas Capaldo vs Jorginho
Strahinja Pavlović vs Raheem Sterling
Nicolas Capaldo vs Mason Mount
And that’s a wrap for this Champion League stats pack. If you’re using it to place a (hopefully winning) bet builder, please keep stakes reasonable and stick to budget this week.