Next up for Chelsea is their Champions League clash against Azerbaijani champions Qarabag FK. A match which if the Premier League champions win will guarantee their qualification into the second round of this season’s competition. The Blues are currently second in their group; one point behind AS Roma and four ahead of Atletico Madrid.
A win for Chelsea on Wednesday night matched by Roma failing to beat Atletico Madrid would also see Chelsea go back on top of the group with one game to play. In the first meeting between these two, Chelsea were comprehensive 6-0 winners at Stamford Bridge. Qarabag have since managed two draws in their last two Champions League matches, both against Atletico Madrid, which could well be an indication that they won’t be so easy this time around for Chelsea to beat. Especially with the English side playing away from home.
Chelsea currently have two injury concerns. Michy Batshuayi and Victor Moses are certainly out of the clash. But aside from this duo, no other Chelsea player will be missing on Wednesday night.
Courtios is off course likely to be trusted to man the goal once again.
In defence we expect the same trio as the one that defeated West Brom on Saturday. David Luiz seems to have burnt his bridges and we do not expect him to get a recall. Therefore Gary Cahill will play with Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta in the back three Alonso is likely to retain his spot as the LWB.
However, we do expect Antonio Conte to rotate some of his team. Pedro, who missed the 4-0 win over West Brom this past weekend, is likely to get a recall back into the starting lineup. N’Golo Kante is likely to be paired with Drinkwater and Fabregas rested.
I am sure Conte would have loved to rest Alvaro Morata but with the Spaniard the only fit striker Chelsea has at the moment, the Italian has no choice than to play him in attack. We also think Eden Hazard will start.
Below is a graphic of how we expect Chelsea to line up against Qarabag: