After a middling start to their Premier League season, Chelsea will be hoping that a return to European competition offers a chance for them to build momentum across the board. However, they will travel to Croatia acutely aware that the Maksimir Stadium has been something of a graveyard for British sides.
Tottenham and Arsenal have lost away to Dinamo Zagreb in recent years and the Croatian champions are unbeaten in 19 home games across all competitions, crushing Bodo/Glimt 4-1 in the play off round to overturn a first leg deficit and reach the group stages. They have not got any further than that under the competition’s most recent formats and are not likely to do so this time round. However, Ante Cacic’s side could well cause an upset or two over the coming weeks. Here is how you can watch the match and what you need to know:
Viewing information and odds
- Date: Tuesday, Sep. 6 | Time: 12:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Maksimir Stadium — Zagreb, Croatia
- Live stream: Paramount+
- Odds: Dinamo +600; Draw +333; Chelsea -225 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Dinamo: The Croatian side’s involvement in the Champions League can often offer an insight into the best and brightest talents emerging from a nation that consistently punches above its weight when it comes to talent production. One player to keep a particularly close eye on will be Marko Bulat, a 20 year old midfielder who shone with newly promoted Sibenik in last year’s top flight and has now made the move to Dinamo.
A more familiar name to the global audience might be Mislav Orsic, the man who sent Tottenham crashing out of the Europa League in 2021 with a hat trick. He scored the crucial aggregate equalizer against Bodo/Glimt last month but will not need to shoulder the scoring burden alone with Bruno Petkovic and summer signing Josip Drmic having hit a strong vein of form early in the campaign.
Chelsea: A win over West Ham on Saturday might have sent the Blues up the Premier League table but it could have been another frustrating weekend for Thomas Tuchel if it were not for a VAR intervention that the Premier League has requested be investigated, so contentious was it. Meanwhile the goal that was actually given for the Hammers was the fourth Chelsea have conceded off set pieces already this season, two more than the 19 games Tuchel was in charge of in 2020-21.
It is an issue Tuchel has framed as more mental than technical and after the 2-1 loss at Southampton last week he said his squad “are not tough enough to win these away matches at the moment.” That will surely have been music to the ear of Dinamo supporters who will provide a more intimidating cauldron of noise than St Mary’s or Elland Road.
Chelsea have the quality to win this quite comfortably but they are struggling on the road and will face a team who see nothing to fear against Premier League opponents. Why shouldn’t the Champions League start with a bang? PICK: Dinamo 2, Chelsea 1