Chelsea travel to Rome on Tuesday looking for the three points that will guarantee progress to the knockout rounds of the Champions League.
Antonio Conte’s men got back to winning ways last week against Everton and Bournemouth, and the Italian will be looking to adopt the same successful 3-4-3 formation. Roma troubled the Blues at Stamford Bridge and it will be interesting to see if Conte can find a way to nullify their threats.
Thibaut Courtois will start in goal in Rome – looking to keep only his second Champions League clean sheet of the season.
Gary Cahill was rested on Saturday at Bournemouth and could well slot back into central defence alongside David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger. Cesar Azpilicueta is being deployed as a right wing-back in Victor Moses’s continued absence and Marcos Alonso will be looking to continue his decent form at left wing-back.
N’Golo Kante is set to return in the centre of the park and he has been greatly missed in recent weeks; he should provide stability alongside Tiemoue Bakayoko. Cesc Fabregas could also be preferred in midfield to give the Blues a more central creative force, with Eden Hazard given a free role in front of him – following on from his match-winning performance on Saturday.
Alvaro Morata hasn’t scored since returning from injury and is in need of a goal or two up front.
Predicted Starting XI
Where the Game Will Be Won or Lost
Both teams will be fully aware that a win in this game will be a crucial step towards qualification from the group. With Atletico Madrid in third place and yet to win in the Champions League this season, it could be a major scalp for both sides.
The first game at Stamford Bridge a fortnight ago was an open encounter and the return of N’Golo Kante could well put a stop to that but Roma are a real threat and Chelsea will have to be astute defensively.
On the proviso that Atletico do manage to pick up their first win of the group stages at home to the group minnows, FK Qarabag, both teams will be looking to keep the Spaniards at bay. This could result in quite a tight game that no team will want to lose.