Roma will be hoping to try to pip Chelsea to top spot in Group C as they take on the English giants at the Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday evening.
The Giallorossi find themselves in second place in their quartet, two points behind Chelsea after three rounds. Many had expected it to be a straight battle for top spot between Atletico Madrid, who have been repeated finalists over the past few seasons, and Chelsea, who were the last non-Spanish (other than Bayern Munich) team to win the title in 2012.
But Roma have managed to upset to the proverbial apple cart. Atletico Madrid have been shockingly disappointing, with just two points so far, and failing to pick up all three points against lowly Qarabag on the road. Los Rojiblancos, of course, will be expected to get the job done against the debutants on home soil today, which will certainly put pressure on the Giallorossi, who many figured would be happy to settle for a third place and feature in the Europa League.
Clearly, Eusebio Di Francesco’s side are hoping to do as well in their quartet as possible, and having fought back to earn a 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge, they will be fancying their chances to snatch top spot against Chelsea. The Blues don’t have a great record in Italy, losing their last three trips here, including against Juventus a couple seasons back when they were the reigning Champions League holders. In fact, they’ve won just one of their last nine to Italy, losing five and drawing three.
Roma comes into this game having earned a narrow 1-0 win over Bologna, courtesy of a goal from Stephan El Shaarawy. Likewise, Chelsea also earned a narrow 1-0 victory, thanks to a goal from Eden Hazard. The hosts are still missing Kostas Manolas in defense, whereas Chelsea now have welcomed N’Golo Kante back after his recovery from injury, but Victor Moses is still out.
Fans were treated to a true footballing spectacle as six goals were scored by the time the dust settled. Edin Dzeko’s brilliant brace salvaged a point for Roma after it seemed that Chelsea were cruising to a comfortable win, and now part two of this exciting doubleheader arrives in the Eternal City. Will we see another round of fireworks upon Antonio Conte’s return to Italy as the Giallorossi hope to pip the Blues to top spot in Group C?