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Chelsea vs Dinamo Zagreb: Team news, Kovacic injury latest and predicted XI for Champions League clash

All the latest ahead of Chelsea’s final Champions League group tie

Chelsea welcome Dinamo Zagreb in what is a free hit for the hosts, with the Blues having sewn up top spot last week with victory over Salzburg in Austria.

Their opponents need a win to have any hope of remaining in Europe, with a spot in the Europa League for the remainder of the season still potentially up for grabs should results go their way.

And, with a massive test against Arsenal to come at the weekend, it is unclear just how strong a line up the Blues will put out, but it seems likely that there will be a fair amount of rotation from the side hammered 4-1 against Brighton over the weekend.

Predicted XI

Plenty of headaches for Potter

Potter has plenty to think about ahead of the clash, not least on the injury front, with Mateo Kovacic touch and go and with all of Reece James, Wesley Fofana and Kepa out injured for the tie.

To make matters worse, Mason Mount and Conor Gallagher, both of whom started against Brighton, are a yellow card away from suspension so may not be risked in what is a dead rubber tie, with the potential of missing the last 16 a massive incentive not to use the pair.

Zakaria ‘in the frame’ for debut

Another potential pitfall is the future of Denis Zakaria, with Chelsea considering terminating his loan early according to multiple reports. FIFA rules state that a player can only play for a maximum of two clubs in one season, and the Swiss midfielder has already turned out for Juve this season, meaning that should he return to Turin another loan would not be possible.

“He’s been really good, trained well, supported his teammates” the Chelsea boss told the media.

“He’s disappointed not play, like everybody is. Up until the weekend, results have been positive. He’s in the frame, in the squad, available. We will wait and see”.

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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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