RB Salzburg vs Chelsea: Champions League match preview, lineups, quotes, form, injuries and how to watch

We preview Chelsea's matchday 5 tie against RB Salzburg in Group E of the Champions League.

By James Descombes Published: 24 October 2022 - 12.36pm

When and where to watch RB Salzburg vs Chelsea

RB Salzburg vs Chelsea kicks off at 5.45pm on Tuesday 25 October.

You can catch all the action from Austria exclusively live on BT Sport 4

RB Salzburg vs Chelsea match preview

Chelsea’s long run of clean sheets came to an end on Sunday afternoon when Manchester United scored a stoppage-time equaliser at Stamford Bridge.

Graham Potter’s side, despite a lacklustre performance, had been on course for another important victory before Casemiro’s late header crept over the line.

But they will have to put that setback behind them quickly, with a key game in the Champions League against RB Salzburg coming up.

The Blues have put themselves in a strong position to win Group E with back-to-back victories over Serie A champions Milan, although defeat to Dinamo Zagreb on the opening night and a home draw to Salzburg in Potter’s first match mean the job isn’t done yet.

Salzburg are just a point behind Chelsea in second after their 1-1 draw against Zagreb last time out, so the visitors will be aware of the challenge they face at the Red Bull Arena.

Matthias Jaissle’s side are top of the Austrian Bundesliga and yet to lose a game on home soil this season. And they demonstrated their qualities in the reverse fixture, performing well at Stamford Bridge, albeit against a Chelsea side in transition after Thomas Tuchel’s dismissal.

For Chelsea, the aim will be to improve on recent Premier League performances, after draws against Man Utd and Brentford and before that a not entirely convincing win at Aston Villa.

The victories over Milan were the most complete performances of the Potter era so far and the hope will be for a continuation of that form in Austria.

Watch RB Salzburg vs Chelsea in the Champions League

Can Chelsea cement their position at the top of Group E as they face their closest rivals in Austria? Watch Chelsea and much more for just £25 a month with no contract.

 

RB Salzburg vs Chelsea predicted lineups

RB Salzburg: (4-3-2-1) Köhn; Dedic, Bernardo, Pavlovic, Ulmer, Capaldo, Seiwald, Gourna-Douath, Sucic, Sesko, Okafor. 

Chelsea: (3-4-2-1) Arrizabalaga; Chalobah, Silva, Koulibaly, Azpilicueta, Kovacic, Jorginho, Chilwell, Mount, Sterling, Aubameyang.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

RB Salzburg vs Chelsea: Injuries and suspensions

Salzburg are monitoring midfielder Luka Sucic, who picked up a knock during Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Sturm Graz but is expected to start.

Chelsea’s long-term absentees, N’Golo Kante, Reece James and Wesley Fofana, are still some way off a return.

To add to Potter’s defensive headache, Kalidou Koulibaly missed the Man Utd draw and could be unavailable again on Tuesday night after sustaining a knee injury at Brentford.

Form (last 6 matches)

RB Salzburg – WWDWWD

Chelsea – WWWWDD

RB Salzburg vs Chelsea: Form guide

Salzburg are unbeaten in all competitions stretching back to late July, when they lost 2-1 to Sturm Graz on the opening day of the Austrian Bundesliga season.

It’s an impressive run and includes well-earned draws against Chelsea and Milan, as well as some emphatic wins domestically.

The Austrian side have won four and drawn two of their last six, taking four points off Zagreb in Group E and keeping the pace at the top of their division.

Chelsea are still yet to lose under Potter but back-to-back draws have dampened the enthusiasm surrounding the club slightly.

Some excellent displays from goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga have helped, but a record of one goal conceded in six matches is commendable nonetheless, particularly when the goal that was conceded only crossed the line by a matter of centimetres. 

A lack of potency in the final third has been a concern, though, and Potter will hope to see a return to the kind of clinical football that was on show against Milan.

Benjamin Sesko thumbs up

RB Salzburg vs Chelsea: Last time they met

The only previous European meeting between FC Red Bull Salzburg and Chelsea came in this season’s reverse fixture on Matchday 2 in September.

Graham Potter's first game in Charge of the Blues ended in 1-1 draw, with Raheem Sterling giving Chelsea the lead before being pegged back by a Noah Okafor strike. 

He said what?!

Graham Potter has defended Raheem Sterling after criticism over his run of seven games without a goal:

“It's not something we have to zoom into one person. As a team, we can do better, and if we do better as a team, then individuals will benefit from that, so that's where the work is.”

RB Salzburg vs Chelsea: Players to watch

Benjamin Sesko appears to be the next rising star at RB Salzburg, a club with a reputation of producing - and selling on for big money - talented young players.

The 19-year-old forward has four goals in the Austrian top flight this season and has featured heavily in the Champions League, though he’s yet to score in the competition.

With Sesko as one for the future, the man of the moment is Swiss striker Noah Okafor, who scored at Stamford Bridge and has eight goals to his name in all competitions. Chelsea, if they are to keep another clean sheet, will need to keep him quiet.

Much of the attention will be on Raheem Sterling amid question marks over his form in the weeks leading up to the World Cup.

The England international has been used in different roles, including wing-back, by Potter, who’s tactical tinkering doesn’t appear to have benefitted Sterling.

His quality is not in doubt, but Chelsea will need to find a way of getting the best out of the former Man City winger.

RB Salzburg vs Chelsea: Key stats

  • Chelsea have only played two away European matches in Austria before, losing 1-0 at Wiener Sport-Club in November 1965 in the Fairs Cup and drawing 1-1 against FK Austria Wien in November 1994 in the Cup Winners’ Cup.
 
  • RB Salzburg are winless in all seven of their European matches against English teams (D2 L5), failing to beat Blackburn Rovers (D1 L1), Manchester City (L2), Liverpool (L2) and Chelsea (D1). It is the most they’ve faced teams from a single nation without defeating in major European competition.

 

  • RB Salzburg have scored exactly one goal in each of their last seven games in the UEFA Champions League – only one team have ever had a longer run of scoring a single goal in the competition, with Olympiakos doing so in 10 in a row in a run ending in November 2005.

 

  •  The average age of RB Salzburg’s starting XI’s in the UEFA Champions League this season is 22 years and 346 days; the youngest of any team in the competition this term.

 

  • Only Manchester City (1.79) have a lower expected goals against total than Chelsea (1.81) in the UEFA Champions League this season, with the Blues only facing eight opposition shots on target so far. Again, only Manchester City (4) have faced fewer this term.