Chelsea will look to asset their dominance in Group C of the Champions League as they play host to Italian outfit Roma at Stamford Bridge. After two wins from as many matches in this season’s campaign, Antonio Conte‘s men will be looking to continue their 100 percent record later tonight.
They go into this game off the back of a surprise loss to Crystal Palace at the weekend which in isolation was bad enough, especially when you consider that Roy Hodgson’s men had lost all seven league prior to their encounter last Saturday.
Not only that though but it is their second straight defeat in the league after also falling at home to Manchester City before the international break. These back to back slip ups have seen Chelsea fall to 5th in the table while already seven points behind Pep Guardiola’s league leading juggernaut.
The defeat to Manchester City saw Alvaro Morata go off early on and it is perhaps no coincidence that since then they have failed to pick up a league point. The good news is that he has returned from his hamstring injury and is set to start to this evening.
Chelsea certainly lacked a focal point against City before the international hiatus when Eden Hazard was tasked with leading the line while the hero in Madrid in Matchday 2 Michy Batshuyai failed to take his opportunity against Crystal Palace last week.
It was Batshuyai’s late goal against Atletico Madrid that not only ruined their European housewarming party but also meant that the West London outfit have maximum points from this Champions League campaign while sitting two points clear of tonight’s opponents Roma.
A win this evening for the defending Premier League champions could have them put one foot in the Round of 16 as they would then open up a five point gap against Roma and also more than likely Atletico Madrid depending on how they fare away at Qarabag.
Both tonight’s team have made easy work of the Azerbaijani champions and you always got the feeling that it was going to be a case of three into two will not go and who exactly will be the one to miss out on playing in this competition after the new year.
A win for Chelsea tonight means that it is something that they will not have to worry about and they can leave the fight down to Roma and Atletico. The club from the Italian capital currently find themselves 5th in the table, already nine points behind somewhat surprise leaders Napoli.
And it was Napoli who beat the Romans at the weekend with a 1-0 win at the Stadio Olimpico, that could be something of a swing game in terms of the league hopes of AS Roma as a number of sides look to finally end the 6 year domestic reign of Juventus.
As for matters at Stamford Bridge the fact that Morata is fit and ready to return is undoubtedly a massive boost and one that will make all the difference. So much so that I think he will lead his club to victory as the Blues make it three European wins from three.