AS Roma entertain Chelsea in Tuesday night’s Champions League outing at the Stadio Olimpico. The Giallorossi have made a fruitful start to their Serie A campaign, and they are presently seven points behind table-toppers Napoli with a game in hand. In comparison, the Blues have fared decently in their title defence, but they are similarly playing catch-up to Manchester City, who hold a nine-point lead at the top of the Premier League standings. A victory for the Giallorossi would put them above the Blues in Group C with eight points, although the opposite would put Antonio Conte’s side on the cusp of last-16 qualification.
The last outing between the clubs was less than a fortnight ago where they had to settle for a 3-3 draw. David Luiz and Eden Hazard gave the Blues an early two-nil lead before Aleksandar Kolarov got one back for Roma prior to the break. The Italian outfit therein looked the more menacing of the sides with Edin Dzeko taking centre stage. The former Manchester City man notched a sensational volley to pull things level before heading in the third goal for Roma after combining with the impressive Kolarov. Eden Hazard, however, had the last say in the game as he equalised the scores 15 minutes from time.
Players to watch for:
Eden Dzeko – AS Roma: The Bosnian footballer has become a vital cog in the Roma ranks despite initial doubts over his future last term. The 31-year-old has netted 10 goals in just 13 appearances for the Giallorossi this season, and he is likely to pose a significant threat to the Blues backline, which struggled to mark his movement at Stamford Bridge earlier this month. Dzeko averages more than four shots per game on average, and Roma could be rest assured that he will test the opposition goalkeeper.
Eden Hazard – Chelsea: Hazard has been short of his scintillating form, but he has still contributed to the club’s cause this month with three goals and one assist. The Belgian bagged the important winner in the 1-0 triumph over Bournemouth last weekend, and he will come into the Roma game with confidence attained from the previous meeting. Hazard has found an almost telepathic partnership with summer signing Alvaro Morata, and their combination could be key to rattling Roma’s backline.
Another high-scoring draw would do good for the neutrals like myself….
AS Roma 2-2 Chelsea