Phakaaathi Reporter
2 minute read
31 Oct 2017
2:53 pm

Chelsea’s Kante set to return against Roma

Phakaaathi Reporter

Chelsea play at Roma in Champions League Group C on Tuesday night, seeking to move a step closer to qualifying for the knockout stages.

N’Golo Kante could return for Chelsea in Tuesday night’s Champions League Group C clash at Roma. France midfielder Kante has not played since the September 30 loss to Manchester City due to a hamstring injury.

Danny Drinkwater is also set to be included in the squad following a calf problem, with Victor Moses (hamstring) the only definite absentee.

Provisional squad: Courtois, Caballero, Rudiger, Alonso, Fabregas, Drinkwater, Kante, Morata, Hazard, Pedro, Bakayoko, Kenedy, Musonda, Zappacosta, Willian, Batshuayi, Cahill, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Clarke-Salter, Scott, Eduardo.

Roma in Focus

Manager

Eusebio Di Francesco. Began his playing career at Empoli and had two spells at Piacenza either side of four years at Roma. He won 12 caps with Italy. He had a stint as a director at Roma before turning to coaching. He led Lecce – Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte’s first club as a player – for just 13 matches, before becoming the manager of Sassuolo and earning them their first promotion to Serie A. He spent four seasons with Sassuolo in the top flight, helping them into the Europa League, before replacing Luciano Spalletti at Roma last June.

Players

Like Chelsea, who bade farewell to John Terry after 22 years, Roma said goodbye to a long-time servant last summer when Francesco Totti retired after 24 years with his only club. The Giallorossi still have familiar faces, with former Manchester City men Edin Dzeko and Aleksandar Kolarov there and ex-Tottenham man Federico Fazio in defence. Daniele De Rossi, Alessandro Florenzi and Stephan El Shaarawy were all coached by Conte when he was Italy boss. Defender Antonio Rudiger joined Chelsea after two seasons with Roma last summer, but the Blues missed out on Belgium midfielder Radja Nainggolan.

Previous bouts

Roma fought back from 2-0 down to lead 3-2 in the drawn first match, when Dzeko and Kolarov showed their quality. Chelsea and Roma met in the group stages nine years ago. The Giallorossi won in the Eternal City 3-1 and Chelsea claimed a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge. One player scored in both legs: Terry, who left in June. Defender Christian Panucci, who had had a prior spell as a Blue, scored for Roma.

Form

Roma have won eight of their last 10 games. They had won five successive matches in all competitions until Napoli beat them 1-0 and the draw at Chelsea followed. They have since won three Serie A games, all 1-0. They have won two of their last 18 games in the Champions League.

Home record

Roma have won just one of their last eight Champions League matches at home, losing four. They have won eight, drawn three and lost four of their 15 home games against English clubs. That record does not include the 1984 European Cup penalty shootout loss to Liverpool at their Stadio Olimpico home. They lost to City in 2014-15, ending a run of three straight home wins against Premier League opposition.