Chelsea head to Rome tonight hopeful of sealing qualification for the Champions League knockout stages.
Currently top of Group C with seven points from three games, a victory for the Blues against Roma would guarantee qualification for the last-16 if Atletico Madrid also fail to earn three points against Qarabag in the Spanish capital.
The West Londoners will appreciate how difficult this task may prove, however, following the thrilling 3-3 draw played out between these two sides when they met two weeks ago at Stamford Bridge. Braces from Eden Hazard and ex-Manchester City frontman Edin Dzeko made for an exciting encounter that night, but both sides will endeavour to provide improved defensive displays in the second leg of their double header.
As a result – despite playing only two full days ago in their 1-0 away win at Bournemouth, and with a crucial clash with Manchester United this weekend – expect Chelsea boss Antonio Conte to field a strong team. The Italian, who knows first-hand how intimidating playing away at the Stadio Olimpico can be after spending over 15 years in Serie A as a player and manager, may be tempted to return midfielder N’Golo Kante to the starting XI after a four-game absence.
Roma, without defenders Kostas Manolas and Rick Karsdorp, will be aiming to continue their unbeaten form in the competition so far this season, knowing that a single win over either Chelsea or Atletico will be enough to secure progression.
What time does it start?
Roma vs Chelsea kicks off at 19:45
Where can I watch it?
The match will be shown live on BT Sport 2 from 19:00. Highlights will be shown at 22:15 on BT Sport 2.
It’s a big game for…
Antonio Rudiger. Having enjoyed two effective seasons with Roma, the German only played 13 minutes as a substitute against his former employers two weeks ago. He is likely to be entrusted with a full 90 in a wing-back role by Conte this evening on his return to the Stadio Olimpico.
5. Chelsea have suffered a five-game winless streak away to Italian clubs in the Champions League, losing four and drawing one, with the Blues conceding at least two goals on each of those occasions.
Okay, it was only two weeks ago, but you shouldn’t need an excuse to re-watch this stunning left-foot volley from Edin Dzeko. Some good commentary too…
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