UCL Preview: Morata set to return for Chelsea tie against Roma

Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata is set to return from a hamstring injury as the Blues look to maintain their 100% start to the Champions League against Roma.

The Spaniard missed Saturday’s loss at Crystal Palace after he was injured against Manchester City last month.

Wing-back Victor Moses has not trained since being substituted at Selhurst Park with a hamstring injury.

Midfielders N’Golo Kante (hamstring) and Danny Drinkwater (calf) are out.

UCL Preview: Morata set to return for Chelsea tie against Roma

“I could take a risk on Saturday to force Morata to play against Crystal Palace, but I’m not so stupid,” Blues manager Antonio Conte said.

“I’m not taking a risk if I decide for Morata to play against Roma.”

After wins against Qarabag and Atletico Madrid, Chelsea are aiming to extend their perfect record in Group C against second-placed Roma at Stamford Bridge.

The Italians are two points behind Conte’s side after a goalless draw at home to Atletico and a 2-1 victory at Qarabag.

Roma welcome back Strootman and El Shaarawy

Netherlands midfielder Kevin Strootman and Italy attacker Stephan El Shaarawy are both available after missing the weekend defeat against Napoli.

Roma had won their previous five matches in all competitions before Saturday’s 1-0 loss at the unbeaten Serie A leaders.

The Giallorossi have finished in the top three of Serie A in each of the past four seasons, but have struggled to make an impression in the Champions League.

They have only progressed from the group stage once in the past three seasons, reaching the last 16 in 2015-16 where they lost to Real Madrid.

How likely are Chelsea to progress?

Sports data specialists Gracenote Sports have simulated the remainder of the Champions League group phase one million times based on their current ratings for the clubs involved and their results to date, and have come up with a probability percentage of each side progressing to the knockout stage.

Simon Gleave, head of analysis at Gracenote Sports, said: “Chelsea’s victory at Atletico Madrid was the second biggest shock of matchday two, behind Porto’s win at Monaco according to the Euro Club Index.

“Having won away at the theoretically best team in Group C, Chelsea’s chance of reaching the Champions League knockout phase from a tough looking group is up to 92%.”

Roma looking for rare win in England

  • The teams last played each other in the 2008-09 Champions League, both sides winning their home games
  • Chelsea have won their Champions League group on their past three appearances and 11 times overall
  • The Blues have only failed to progress to the last 16 once – in 2012-13 when they became the first holders to go out in the group phase
  • Roma have won only one of their 15 away games in England, losing nine and drawing five
  • The Giallorossi earned their only victory in England against Liverpool in the 2000-01 Uefa Cup

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