Shaken by defeats at the weekend in their national leagues, Chelsea and Rome seek this Wednesday, October 18, the rehab. They will cross paths in the third round of the UEFA Champions League group stage, the last of the first round. The duel will be held at Stamford Bridge in London starting at 4:45 p.m. (GMT).
In the continental tournament, the teams are in Group C, which leads the Blues with six points earned. The Romans come next with four. Atletico Madrid, with only one point, is in third place and will face, at the same time, Qarabag, Azerbaijan, which has not yet scored.
Chelsea’s recent performance
Coach Antonio Conte bemoaned the fact that he did not have a squad that he considers enough to split between three competitions that Chelsea earlier this season after a 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace on Saturday, October 14 , in the opponent’s stadium.
In fact, more than a complaint, the comment of the Italian seemed a justification to try to explain a defeat for a team that, until then, had lost all the games that had disputed without having managed to score a single goal.
The embarrassment caused Chelsea, parked in 13 points (four wins, one draw and three losses), fell to fifth place in the Premier League standings. The difference in comparison with Manchester City, leader, has risen to nine points. Pretty considerable handicap for a tournament that is only in its eighth round.
It was the Blues’ second consecutive defeat that had been beaten 1-0 at City by the City before the stoppage of the English Premier League in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
One of the sure targets of Conte’s regrets was the lack of a substitute for Spanish striker Alvaro Morata (seven matches in the 2017/2018 season, six goals). He suffered a thigh injury that took him out of Chelsea’s last two games.
However, the lack of a substitute of this level can be debited in the account of the Italian technician. It was him, after all, who dismissed the Spanish naturalized Brazilian Diego Costa by the end of the previous season. With this, the player is still being paid by Chelsea not to play until at the opening of the January transfer window can transfer to Atletico Madrid and a new striker is hired for his place.
There is still doubt about Morata’s use for Wednesday’s game. He will have to undergo further evaluation of the medical department. The same goes for midfielder Victor Moses (six games, no goal), N’Golo Kante (seven games, one goal) and Drinkwater (still without performances) who are in injury treatment.
The current form of Rome
Roma suffered a home defeat on Saturday. It took Napoli 1-0 in the classic. Although it was a disappointment, the result can not be considered a failure. After all, the rival presents a performance of 100% in the Italian Championship.
However, with 15 points (five wins and two losses), the Romans saw their opponents distancing themselves in the title fight. They are nine points less in comparison with the Neapolitans and seven of disadvantage compared to Internazionale, second placed.
Certainly worse than the stumble in the Italian League is the large number of athletes delivered to the medical department. Defenders Konstantinos Manolas (six matches in the 2017/2018 Italian Championship without a goal), Emerson (without performances) and Abdullahi Nura (without performances) are in injury treatment; the socks Stephan E. Shaarawy (six games, two goals) and Kevin Strootman (five games, no goal); and attackers Gregoire Defrel (three games, no goal) and Patrik Schick (a game, no goal).
History of the bouts between Chelsea and Roma
The teams have already faced each other four times. Two of them in friendlies. In 2004, Chelsea won by 3-0. Also won in 2013, this time by 2 to 1. The other two games were for the group stage of the 2008/2009 UEFA Champions League. Those who acted at home took the best. In England, the blues made 1-0. In the Italian capital, the Romans won by 3 to 1.
PREDICTION: Chelsea win @ 1.65