Roma vs Chelsea Prediction, Preview, Lineups, H2H & Betting Tips
Only two weeks after a spectacular draw at “Stamford Bridge”, Roma takes on Chelsea for the second leg of their UEFA Champions League tie. Both clubs have won in three consecutive domestic games in that period, which hints they’re in form and eager to claim the first Group C position. Read on what our betting experts have to say about the upcoming Champions League fixture in a detailed match preview, prediction and free betting tips.
H2H History: AS Roma vs Chelsea
Roma will have the home advantage of playing at the “Stadio Olimpico” in Italian capital, keeping some good memories dating from the 2008-09 Champions League group stage. Both sides were together in Group A alongside Bordeaux and CFR Cluj, winning the top-two positions and reaching the knockout phase.
Situation was pretty similar back then – Chelsea and Roma have met in the middle rounds (3 & 4) which usually take place in second half of October and in late-October or early-November respectively. Chelsea won the first leg in London after a goal by John Terry in closing part of the game. “The Giallorossi” were more convincing and won 3:1 in Rome, where Christian Panucci and Mirko Vucinic (two goals) were the scorers, while John Terry was the one who scored for Chelsea again.
Nine years later “Stamford Bridge” staged the first leg once again and the Italians were really close to upset the English champion. Antonio Conte’s side took a comfortable 2:0 lead after 37 minutes but two former Premier League winners and teammates at Manchester City (Aleksandar Kolarov and Edin Dzeko) were effective enough to make a full comeback to 2:3. Thus “The Blues” found themselves in a losing position and were pleased to earn a point after a second goal by Eden Hazard, who leveled in the 75th minute. A fair draw, we would say in conclusion.
UEFA Champions League: AS Roma vs Chelsea 31.10.2017
Chelsea are two points clear at the Group C’s peak and Antonio Conte perfectly realizes that it won’t be the end of the world if his squad fails to take over Rome on Tuesday night. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean “The Blues” won’t chase the three points which can turn into a significant step towards the first position and that certainly is Chelsea’s ambition.
Antonio Conte’s side heads to Italy in a fine mood, winning three times in a row on both domestic fronts. Their streak includes two Premier League victories against Watford (4:2 at home) and last weekend’s narrow success in Bournemouth, while in the meantime Chelsea eliminated Everton from the League Cup – winning 2:1 in the midweek. Conte used that game to rotate the squad as he needs to squeeze out the maximum in the next few days since after the journey to Rome, Chelsea hosts to Manchester United on Sunday.
Roma holds the second Group C position and Eusebio Di Francesco is keen to outwit his experienced colleague Diego Simeone in the long run. So far so good, “The Giallorossi” have two draws and a win after first half of the group phase but they also have an upcoming clash with Atletico in Madrid next round. This may somehow increase the pressure over the Italians who need the win more than their English opponents do.
Match Preview: Team News, Squads and Missing Players
Roma enters in this clash after three narrow victories in the Calcio and Eusebio Di Francesco found an opportunity to rest some first-team players during the win over Bologna on Saturday night. It has been preceded by a win in Torino (vs Torino) and a home match vs Crotone in the midweek round, which all place Roma on the fifth position in the Serie A, on seven points behind leaders Napoli but with one game less as well.
All injury concerns of the home team are in defense where Kostas Manolas, Emerson and summer signing Rick Karsdorp are all injured. Actually Manolas is back to training, but Federico Fazio and Juan Jesus are the most likely starters as a centre-back duo this time.
Eusebio Di Francesco should have a relatively fresh squad against Chelsea as key players like Aleksandar Kolarov, Radja Nainggolan, Diego Perotti, will surely be reintroduced to the starting lineup. French midfielder Maxime Gonalons, who started in London, can be an option as well, if Di Francesco decides to leave Daniele De Rossi on the bench as in the first leg. Lorenzo Pellegrini is another midfielder who is in contention for the third position, if we assume that Nainggolan and Strootman are sure starters.
The main doubts are at the right-flank where in defense Bruno Peres is carrying a knock and if the Brazilian fails to recover on time, Alessandro Florenzi would be an option. Winger Gregoire Defrel is also set to miss out due to a recurrence of an ankle injury, so Stephan El Shaarawy can claim more first-team football, especially if Bruno Peres is not fit and Florenzi needs to start at the back.
Antonio Conte will probably stick to the 3-4-2-1 with Eden Hazard and Pedro behind Alvaro Morata, unless he doesn’t plan to refresh the line. Willian and Michy Batshuayi, who scored a late winner vs Atletico in Madrid, can be two of the attacking options but we believe that it’s more likely Conte to use them as substitutions.
N’Golo Kante and Victor Moses are still injured, so their absence opens a place for Cesc Fabregas and Davide Zappacosta.
Rotations are likely in defense where the former Roma defender Antonio Rüdiger is expected to make way to experienced Gary Cahill, who will form the centre-back trio with David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta.
AS Roma vs Chelsea Prediction and Betting Tips
Last time Roma showed some considerable football arguments they deserve a position in the Round of 16, but the main question is whether they can repeat the same performance. Moreover, many people wonder is Eusebio Di Francesco capable to win the second round of tactical duels against Conte and Cholo Simeone, since the Italian can’t boast with serious international experience as a coach.
On the other hand we have Antonio Conte whose position in Chelsea seems to be threatened after some not so pleasing results this season. “The Blues” are on 9 point from Man City and they will hardly retain the Premier League trophy, so the Champions League can be their main target. Of course, it’s still too early to make some general conclusions about their Premier League perspectives but Chelsea can’t afford to make a wrong step right now.
We expect more cautious approach by the English club this time. They are not playing at home and under expectations to chase a mandatory win, so Chelsea can feel better and start the game with less pressure. Our betting prediction is backing the away team and we pick the Asian Handicap 0 (Draw No Bet) line on Chelsea.
Also, bear in mind that Roma already lost two important Serie A home games – 1:3 to Inter earlier in the season and 0:1 vs Napoli.
Possible Lineups of AS Roma and Chelsea
Venue: “Stadio Olimpico”, Rome.
Referee: Jonas Eriksson from Sweden.
AS Roma: Alisson – Aleksandar Kolarov, Federico Fazio, Juan Jesus, Alessandro Florenzi – Kevin Strootman, Maxime Gonalons, Radja Nainggolan – Diego Perotti, Stephan El Shaarawy, Edin Dzeko. (4-3-3)
Chelsea: Thibaut Courtois – David Luiz, Gary Cahill, Cesar Azpilicueta – Marcos Alonso, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Cesc Fabregas, Davide Zappacosta – Eden Hazard, Pedro – Alvaro Morata. (3-4-2-1)