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Despite a sensational away win against Atletico Madrid in their previous Champions League outing, Chelsea, the defending Premier League champions, are currently in limbo following two successive domestic defeats – the first one happened against league leaders Manchester City prior to the international break but the other one occurred on Saturday evening when they lost against bottom-placed Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Antonio Conte, the Blues boss, is under immense pressure now ahead of their midweek Champions League home outing against Serie A heavyweights AS Roma at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea will be having major injury boost ahead of their crucial Champions League encounter as hitman Alvaro Morata is back from his thigh strain. But the Blues will be without midfielder N’Golo Kante who is still a couple of weeks away after sustaining a thigh injury during his national duty. Danny Drinkwater is still out with his calf injury whereas Victor Moses remains a major doubt with a hamstring strain.
Conte’s three-man backline worked masterly for the Blues last term who registered 13 successive wins in the league to eventually be crowned as the 2016-17 Premier League champions. The former Azzurri and Juventus boss is continuing with his familiar ‘3-4-3’ formation and is set to stick to it against i giallorossi.
The Belgian custodian is set to retain his place between the sticks and should be preferred for this midweek fixture despite conceding twice in their disastrous defeat against Crystal Palace on Saturday evening.
The Spaniard scored an own goal against the Eagles who eventually grabbed their first win of the 2017-18 Premier League campaign. Azpilicueta, however, has been the most consistent performer for the Blues in recent years and should keep his place in the squad against AS Roma.
David Luiz (CB)
The Brazilian has been inconsistent in recent weeks despite a decent inception of the new campaign. But he is vastly experienced in this competition and should be preferred over ex-Roma centre-back Antonio Rudiger to contain hitman Edin Dzeko who has been in scintillating form for the Serie A outfit.
Gary Cahill (LCB)
The Englishman is expected to keep his place in the squad and start on the left-hand side of Conte’s ‘three-man’ backline.
Davide Zappacosta (RWB)
The ex-Torino wingback was introduced as a first-half substitute on Saturday in place of the injured Victor Moses and is expected to earn a start on Wednesday night.
Cesc Fabregas (CM)
The Spaniard set up Chelsea’s solitary goal against Palace and was unlucky to hit the woodwork. He, however, left an impression in the middle of the park and could be set to keep his place in Conte’s starting line-up.
Tiemoue Bakayoko (CM)
The former Monaco youngster has been impressive so far with his physicality, long ball accuracy, and dribbling traits. He scored his first goal for his new club on Saturday but ended up on the losing side. His performance earned high appreciation though and the player should retain his place in the absence of N’Golo Kante.
Marcos Alonso (LWB)
Despite being ruthless in the attack, the Spaniard’s defensive display has been criticised time and again. But he should keep his place in the starting XI against AS Roma and he must concentrate more on defending.
Pedro was introduced as a second-half substitute in place of Willian against Palace but is expected to start the game on Wednesday night.
Eden Hazard (LW)
The Belgian superstar is yet to find his rhythm following a lengthy injury spell. But his performance against Atletico Madrid was majestic and the Blues boss will be hoping for a similar outcome.
Alvaro Morata (ST)
Probably the biggest boost for Chelsea, as the Spanish forward is set to return after recovering from his hamstring strain. He might be handed a start in place of Michy Batshuayi, who despite scoring a late winner against Atletico Madrid, has failed to earn Conte’s trust following a spell of unimpressive outings.