The defending champions are back three months after their triumph in Porto and will undoubtedly be aiming to retain their crown, starting their Group H campaign against Russian Premier League leaders Zenit.
Romelu Lukaku and Mateo Kovacic scored their first Stamford Bridge goals in what ultimately resulted in a comfortable 3-0 win over Aston Villa, despite the visitors threatening on numerous occasions, only to be denied by the in-form Edouard Mendy.
The Senegalese shot-stopper has been an integral part of Tuchel's squad since his signing, recording nine clean sheets in last season's European campaign and dislodging £71 million signing Kepa.
Upon Thomas Tuchel's arrival, replacing club legend Frank Lampard at the helm - the German tactician managed to record the longest initial run without defeat by any manager in Chelsea's history. A spectacular up-turn in form eventually resulting in the Blues' second Champions League title.
The Chelsea squad were deservedly rewarded for their exploits in last season's crowning. Jorginho claimed UEFA Men's Player of the Year, N'Golo Kante (UEFA's top midfielder) and Mendy (Goalkeeper of the Year), while Tuchel scooped the coach's prize to round off what can only be seen as a shrewd appointment by Roman Abramovich.
The return of Lukaku has given Chelsea a new focal point and Tuchel will be keen to see a reaction from his teammate Timo Werner, who, in his first full season at the club, was often inconsistent. Thought it is expected he will be resigned to the bench for this opening clash.
This will be the first meeting between the two sides, with a notable connection Andre Villas Boas, who managed both sides.
Chelsea Predicted Team:
Mendy; Christensen, Silva, Rudiger; Azpilicueta, Kovacic, Jorginho, Alonso; Havertz, Lukaku, Mount
Zenit beat Akhmat Grozny 3-1 in the Russian top flight last time out, courtesy of goals from Brazilian pair Wendel and Malcom, with Yerokhin's in-between.
Of their seven games to begin their domestic campaign, Sergei Semak's side have picked up five wins and two draws as they look to defend their 2020/21 title, where the Saint Petersburg outfit cruised to glory by 12 points.
After finishing rock bottom of a group containing Borussia Dortmund, Lazio and Club Brugge, Semak's side will be hoping to mount a more successful campaign this time out.
If they can earn a positive result at Stamford Bridge, that will be a true indicator that the side may be able to spring a surprise and move into the Round of 16 stage.
The Russian champions have added Claudinho to their ranks - signed off the back of winning Olympic gold with Brazil from Brasileiro side RB Bragantino. The 24-year-old midfielder finished as joint-top scorer in Brazil's Serie A last season, with 18 league goals, and could play a key role alongside his Brazilian compatriots.
Zenit Predicted Team:
Kritsyuk; Sutormin, Lovren, Rakitskiy, Santos; Erokhin, Kuzyaev, Claudinho, Malcom; Dzyuba, Azmoun
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