Chelsea return to Champions League action on Wednesday night, with Serie A side AS Roma the visitors to Stamford Bridge.
The Blues have enjoyed a perfect start to life back in the Champions League. They followed up the 6-0 win over Qarabag FK in matchday one, with an impressive 2-1 away win against Atletico Madrid. Antoine Griezmann had given Atletico the lead from the penalty spot, before Alvaro Morata equalised for Chelsea. All three points went home with Chelsea, as Michy Batshuayi scored a late winner with the last quick of the game.
Wednesday’s visitors have enjoyed a good start to their Champions League campaign too. They followed up their opening day draw with Atletico Madrid, with a 2-1 away win against Azerbaijani side Qarabag. The Italian side currently sit in second place in Group C, two points behind Chelsea.
Despite their impressive continental form, Chelsea’s recent league form is nothing to boast about. Antonio Conte’s side were 2-1 losers to Crystal Palace on Saturday, a team who had been win-less, point-less, and goal-less prior to Saturday’s game.
Roma’s start to the new season has been relatively straight forward. Since Eusebio Di Francesco took over in the summer, the side currently sit in fifth place in Serie A. However, like Chelsea, they also suffered defeat at the weekend. Lorenzo Insgine scored the only goal of the game as Roma lost to Napoli.
Chelsea have a number of absentees for Wednesday’s fixture. N’Golo Kante remains out with a hamstring injury, and Danny Drinkwater is yet to recover from a calf injury. Victor Moses joins the Blues’ injury list, after injuring his hamstring in the defeat to Palace on Saturday.
There is some good news for Chelsea, however. Alvaro Morata has recovered from his hamstring injury, and could start against the Italian side. Morata was not involved in Saturday’s defeat at Selhurst Park.
Davide Zappacosta looks likely to take the place of Moses in the Chelsea line-up, and Conte could push either David Luiz or Andreas Christensen into a midfield position as the Blues try to deal with the threat of Radja Nainggolan in the Roma midfield.
One piece of history that Chelsea might find interesting is that Roma have never won an away game against English opposition in the Champions League. In the eight games they’ve played in England, they have drawn two and lost six. Also, in those eight games, they have never kept a clean sheet.
A win for Chelsea would put the Blues in a commanding position in Group C after only three games. Three points against Roma would see Chelsea move five points ahead of second place, and would give them a great chance of topping the group.