Chelsea can qualify for the knockout stage of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League if they beat AS Roma in Group C at Stadio Olimpico.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte will also need his back three to contain prolific Roma striker Edin Dzeko who scored two crucial goals in the reverse fixture. Victories over Qarabag and Atletico have left them in a strong position on the latter front, and another win on Tuesday would put them on the verge of finishing top of their Champions League group having missed out on the competition for the first time since 2003-04 last season.
A win for Roma would put them top of Group C and in pole position to secure qualification to the knockout stage for the first time in two years. So far, though, Roma have held their own against their fellow last 16 hopefuls, playing out a goalless draw with Atletico on matchday one before their infinitely more entertaining 3-3 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge a fortnight ago.
The reverse fixture in West London was one of the most entertaining Champions League fixtures this season so far. It all seemed simple for Chelsea who raced into a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from David Luiz and Eden Hazard, however, Aleksandr Kolarov pulled one back before half time to keep Roma in the game.
The game was turned around in favour of the visitors after two goals from Edin Dzeko put the Italian side in the driving seat. A late header from Eden Hazard earned Chelsea a share of spoils on a dramatic night at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea currently sit fourth in the Premier League after a less than convincing start to their season. Two consecutive wins against AFC Bournemouth and Watford came as the perfect response after three games without a win. Consecutive defeats to struggling Crystal Palace and table topping Man City came after Alvaro Morata’s hat trick earned a 4-0 win away to Stoke City.
Roma currently sit fifth in Serie A with four wins in their last five. A home defeat to Napoli the only slip up in this impressive run. Home wins against Bologna and Crotone have come after hugely impressive away wins against Torino and AC Milan.
Edin Dzeko hasn’t scored in the three games since the 3-3 draw with Chelsea, with Kolarov, Perotti and El Shaarawy scoring the winners in their three consecutive 1-0 wins.
N’Golo Kante and Victor Moses remain out for Chelsea. Finding a replacement for Moses is a quick fix for Conte, who can keep summer signing Davide Zappacosta in the starting lineup.
New signing Danny Drinkwater is fit once again, his passing ability and defensive minded approach could mean it is him instead of Cesc Fabregas partnering Tiemoue Bakayoko in the middle of midfield.
Roma boss Eusebio Di Francesco has a number of injury doubts, Ricky Karsdorp, Patrik Schick, Gregoire Defrel and Emerson Palmieri remain unavailable whilst Kevin Strootman and Stephen El Shaarawy are further doubts.
The main issue for Roma is a more difficult one to fix, key defender Kostas Manolas is also expected to miss out, Juan Jesus is expected to partner former Tottenham outcast Federico Fazio in defence.