When Chelsea and Roma last met a fortnight ago, they played out a thrilling 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge. If their clash on Tuesday night is even half as exciting, fans could be in for a Champions League treat on Halloween.
Chelsea’s recent form has been stuttering, with the most recent blip being an awful defeat at the Premier League’s bottom side Crystal Palace. However, two narrow wins last week against Everton and Bournemouth have eased the pressure somewhat on Antonio Conte’s side.
Roma’s attacking play was outstanding in West London two weeks ago, but they would have been disappointed to concede three goals, having dominated the contest. However, they have defended admirably since, with consecutive 1-0 victories in their last three games.
Eden Hazard’s ankle injury badly disrupted his start to the season. However, he was back to his electrifying best two weeks ago, scoring with two fine finishes and constantly threatening the Italian side with his pace. He scored a neat goal on Saturday too, and Roma will be nervous of facing the fully-fit, confident Belgian at the Stadio Olimpico.
The Chelsea defenders were put to the sword by an old foe a fortnight ago. Former Manchester City forward Edin Dzeko netted a brace for Roma, including a world-class volley that was the talk of social media. If Chelsea nullify his attacking threat, a fine away win could be on the cards.
In terms of team news, Chelsea will be delighted to have N’Golo Kante back in training. He has been absent for the last five games due to injury, but could potentially make an appearance on Tuesday. The only regular first teamer who will definitely be missing is Victor Moses, sidelined by a hamstring issue.
Roma will be disappointed to lose influential full-back Bruno Peres to a thigh tear, whilst their granite Greek defender Kostas Manolas has still not recovered from his own thigh issue. Poor Rick Karsdorp, making his debut in the Roma backline, tore his ACL last Wednesday and is set for a lengthy injury layoff.
Chelsea will be hoping to punish a makeshift Roma defence on Tuesday night, knowing the importance of a victory. Win here, and Chelsea will be virtually guaranteed a spot in the last 16 of the Champions League. Lose, and they will be overtaken in the group by the Italian side, with the dangerous Atletico Madrid breathing down their neck.