Roma v Chelsea
Tuesday 31st October 2017, 19:45
Live on BT Sport
Roma arrive at Tuesday night's tussle on the back of a three-match winning streak in Serie A with Torino, Crotone and Bologna all downed by the same 1-0 scoreline. The Giallorossi were indebted to Stephen El Shaarawy's wonder volley on Saturday evening to settle matters against Bologna.
It's now just one loss in 11 outings for the Romans with initial concerns as to whether Eusebio Di Francesco could make the step up from Sassuolo easing. The new head coach has curtained made the Wolves a more solid proposition with the hosts boasting the division's best defence domestically.
Roma do have a couple of selection concerns for the midweek match, mind. Emerson, Rick Karsdorp and Kostas Manolas remain sidelined meaning Bruno Peres, Alessandro Florenzi, Juan Jesus and Federico Fazio will form the Giallorossi's four-man defence in Di Francesco preferred 4-3-3 system.
Chelsea are well on course to clinch a place in the Champions League knockout stages for the 14th occasion in 15 attempts despite the hiccup against Roma at Stamford Bridge last time out. Antonio Conte's charges have responded strongly to that 3-3 draw by picking up three wins and a draw from their past four.
Conte accused his players of losing 'totally our knowledge, our style of football' as they let a two-goal lead slip against the Giallorossi with the Londoners scoring their three goals despite only registering four efforts on target. I don't expect such a similarly fragile display on Tuesday evening.
N'Golo Kante has returned to training and should be part of the squad. The dynamic midfield man is unlikely to start, whilst Victor Moses remains the only major absentee for the visitors in Italy.
Roma 2.72 have only recorded three triumphs in 17 (W3-D5-L9) previous attempts against English opposition in the Champions League but the Giallorossi enter matchday four following an unbeaten start (W1-D2-L0) - the first time the Serie A side have ever come through the first three rounds unbeaten.
The performance when picking up at Stamford Bridge has been lauded as one of their best away from home in Europe for a long time but the Wolves have often struggled against more elite opposition. And on the continental scene, Roma have claimed only two triumphs in 16 Champions League duels.
The home team were outplayed in their goalless draw against Atletico Madrid here on matchday one and were turned over by Napoli not so long ago at the Stadio Olimpico, so I'm comfortable finding ways in which Chelsea 2.76 could prosper.
The Blues put in arguably the best away display in this season's competition when collecting maximum points from Atletico and have already seen off Spurs at Wembley. The 2.00 on Chelsea in the Draw No Bet market appeals.
Under 2.5 Goals
The 3-3 draw a fortnight ago between these two teams could be treated as an anomaly. The three goals Roma conceded were as many as Di Francesco's side had leaked in their seven previous matches put together. The hosts have only shipped nine goals in total this term.
Going forward, the Giallorossi have also been far from fluent in the goalscoring charts. The Italians have notched only three goals in their past three outings and on only four occasions have they racked up more than two goals in a game under their new boss.
With a two-point cushion over Atletico Madrid to protect, it is unlikely the Serie A side will leave themselves so open in this encounter - instead looking to keep things tight. With Under 2.5 Goals landing in five of their last six contests, backing a repeat is advised at a generous 2.22.
Back Under 2.5 Goals @ 2.22 in Roma v Chelsea
Back Chelsea draw no bet @ 2.00 in Roma v Chelsea