The Chelsea fans in the Transfer Tavern are feeling pretty confident about their side’s prospects ahead of their clash with Roma this evening. The Blues have been doing well over the last few weeks, and with a win likely to be enough to all but seal their progression into the last 16, the importance of this fixture cannot be understated.
It’s a worry, then, that Roma looked so good against the Blues when the sides last met. Chelsea were only able to seal a draw at Stamford Bridge thanks to a relatively late goal from Eden Hazard, and so Conte will want to go one better this time around. It remains to be seen how he will go about that, but Chelsea legend Frank Lampard thinks that he knows how the Italian could look to counteract Roma’s offensive threat.
Writing as a part of his column for the Evening Standard, Lampard expects the Blues to pack out the midfield.
Lampard said: “Chelsea need to defend as a team. I will be surprised if Conte doesn’t pick three in midfield and I’m sure N’Golo Kante will start if he’s fit”.
He added: “Conte needs bodies in midfield, his team struggled against them at the Bridge. Roma moved the ball around and changed the play”.
It’s a fair suggestion to make, as Roma looked very good in the midfield last time out. With Cesc Fabregas struggling defensively, the Blues were exploited at the back, and Conte won’t want the same to happen this time around. The return of N’Golo Kante, then, will be key.
The status of N’Golo Kante remins uncertain, but Conte confirmed that he plans to chat with the Frenchman ahead of the game to work out his availability.
If he can return then Chelsea will be in a much better position. Nobody brings the stamina or defensive work rate of the Frenchman in the Blues first team. If he can play, then everything else will likely come together.
Chelsea fans – thoughts?
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