Chelsea will entertain AS Roma in a Champions League group stage game on Wednesday night. The Blues have stuttered in their Premier League defence this term, and they are presently fifth on the table with 13 points, nine drift of high-flying Manchester City. Meanwhile, Roma have experienced a similar fate as they are placed fifth in the Serie A standings. The Giallorossi are nine points behind table-toppers Napoli, although they have an extra game in hand over Sampdoria.
Their last outing was in fact in the Champions League group stage back in 2008 with AS Roma running out 3-1 victors. Goals from Christian Panucci and Mirko Vucinic (two) gave Roma a 3-0 lead by the hour mark before John Terry scored a consolation in the 75th minute. Former Portugal international Deco saw a red card late in the game.
Players to watch for:
Eden Hazard – Chelsea: Whilst Alvaro Morata could make a timely return following his hamstring injury, Hazard could be the player to watch for. The Belgian attacker has yet to touch his prime form following an ankle fracture in the summer, but he produced one of his best performances in Europe last month. Hazard put in an excellent shift in the 2-1 comeback win over Atletico Madrid in October as he provided an assist for Morata’s equaliser. He also had four shots on goal as he won his battle with Lucas Hernandez on the left side of the pitch.
Eden Dzeko – AS Roma: The former Manchester City man is the focal point of Roma’s attack. Dzeko had notched seven goals in the space of just five games before drawing blank against Napoli last weekend. The Giallorossi are presently three points ahead of Atletico Madrid in Group C and Dzeko’s performance in the doubleheader versus Chelsea will be crucial to their prospects of reaching the knockout phase. The Bosnian has averaged five shots a game in the early part of the campaign, and he could capitalise on any jitters in the Blues’ backline following their shock defeat to Crystal Palace.
Chelsea should produce a reaction to the Palace loss
Chelsea 2-1 AS Roma
Image – Getty