Roma vs Chelsea preview, betting tips and prediction: Blues must tighten up in defence to earn victory

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Chelsea to win 2-1 @ 10/1 with Coral

Draw HT/Chelsea FT @ 5/1 with Coral

Score draw @ 16/5 with Coral

It is hard to know what you’re going to get with both Roma and Chelsea this season and nothing proved this more than their meeting at Stamford Bridge two weeks ago. Chelsea looked to have been cruising at 2-0 up, they looked in good shape even without Alvaro Morata up front and N’Golo Kante in midfield. But the Giallorossi were arguably the better team throughout and stunned the hosts by taking a 3-2 lead before Eden Hazard saved the day with his second goal of the game.

Antonio Conte’s side have shown their best and worst in recent weeks. They beat Atletico Madrid in the first Champions League game ever to be played at the new Wanda Metropolitano stadium, playing Diego Simeone’s side at their own game and scoring in the last minute. But without Kante they have looked at their most frail under Conte defensively; as Edin Dzeko found at Stamford Bridge, there are opportunities to be taken. This meeting is set to be another very intriguing tactical battle, because Chelsea have tended to struggle against teams who play a similar system to the them, particularly in wide areas with the use of fullbacks. Alekdandar Kolarov got a lot of joy, not to mention a goal, by pushing on down the left. Victor Moses was injured and there is no guarantees he will be fit, and the way Davide Zappacosta has struggled so far suggests he will be targeted by Roma again if he starts.

But there won’t be as much space behind Chelsea because they are much more disciplined away from home. Dzeko struck fear into their hearts with a brace at the Bridge and he will more than likely cause problems again.

We are still tipping Chelsea for the win, though, because for all of Roma’s attacking quality showcased in their last game, they struggled immensely against Atletico Madrid at the Stadio Olimpico and were lucky to get a 0-0 draw in that game. It will be another interesting match, with both sides capable of winning, In a tight clash, the odd goal is a safe bet, and 10/1 is a good price for 2-1 Chelsea, the same result they got in Madrid. Half that price is still worth backing a second half win, while both may take a draw again at 16/5, especially with Atleti yet to register a win in the group.

Key battle: Aleksandar Kolarov vs Davide Zappacosta

It has already been mentioned, but this battle down Chelsea’s right hand side could be crucial if they are to win the game. Kolarov caused the Blues all sorts of trouble at Stamford Bridge; it doesn’t matter if Zappacosta will play or if Moses will, this will still be massive for the outlook of the clash.

Without Kante, Chelsea have not only been dominated in midfield and open at the back, but less effective in wide areas. Known they were covered by the Frenchman, the wing-backs would get forward and keep the width while the attacking players cut inside. That won’t happen here as much, playing right into Roma’s hands.

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