After their thrashing of West Brom on Saturday, Chelsea travelled to the other side of Europe on Monday evening to prepare for their game with Azerbaijani Champions Qarabag. The game will be played at 5.00pm GMT because Azerbaijan is four hours ahead of the UK so Antonio Conte’s side will be playing against jet lag as well as their opponent in Baku. However, Thibaut Courtois revealed that the Chelsea players will be sticking to British time, meaning that they’ll be staying up until as late as 3.00am local time in order to keep fresh for their Saturday evening game with Liverpool.

Team News

Victor Moses will have to wait until Anfield at the weekend to make his comeback from a hamstring injury that has sidelined him since September. Other than that, Conte has a full squad to pick from and could field a very strong line-up given that Eden Hazard, N’Golo Kante and Cesc Fabregas were all taken off at the Hawthorns last Saturday. David Luiz could make a return to the starting 11 having been left out for the second successive game against West Brom.

Qarabag are without Paolo Henrique after he was sent off in their last European outing in Madrid but do have striker Dino Ndlovu available again after suspension.

Key Battles

Alvaro Morata will be looking to keep up his good form and will come up against Rashad Farhad Sadygov at the heart of the Qarabag defence. The Azerbaijani centre back isn’t short of experience at 35 years old but if Morata can get in behind him, it could get nasty for the Baku club.

Maksim Medvedev was given a torrid time when Qarabag paid a visit to Stamford Bridge in September, being pulled all over the place by Pedro and Willian. This time he’ll face a sparkling Eden Hazard who will be looking to get his third goal in the Champions League this season.

If Qarabag are to have any chance of stifling this Chelsea side, Richard Almeida will have to stop the flow of attacks at source. Whether that be from Fabregas, Kante of Bakayoko, he can’t afford to give his opponents time on the ball in midfield.

Chelsea’s record against Qarabag

The only other time these sides have met was in the opening game of this Champions League group and Qarabag were humbled in a heavy 6-0 defeat with goals from Pedro, Davide Zappacosta, Cesar Azpilicueta, Bakayoko and Michy Batshuayi as well as an own goal by Medvedev.

A win in Baku will clinch a place in the knockout stages of the Champions League with a game to spare but with a home fixture against Atletico Madrid to come, Antonio Conte won’t be letting complacency seep into the players’ minds.