Game : AS Roma vs Chelsea FC
Competition : UEFA Champions League
Venue : Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy
Date : 4 November 2008
Time : 19.45 GMT
Chelsea will look to inflict more misery on Luciano Spaletti’s struggling Roma side when they visit the Stadio Olimpico to play their fourth Group A Champions League game.The Blues currently lead Group A with seven points from three games, and a victory in Italy will all but ensure their progress to the next stage.
Chelsea thrashed Roy Keane’s Sunderland 5-0 at the weekend, with Nicolas Anelka grabbing a hat trick. Prior to that, they beat Phil Brown’s Hull City 3-0. Two weeks ago at the Bridge, Chelsea beat their Italian opponents thanks to a second half goal from John Terry. Left back Ashley Cole has joined midfielders Michael Ballack and Michael Essien and defender Ricardo Carvalho on the injury list. Cole suffered the injury against Sunderland, and his place will be taken by Wayne Bridge. We may also get to see Didier Drogba at some point of time in the game.
Roma’s last win was a month ago against Bordeaux, when they won 3-1. That remains their only win in the Champions League this season, with defeats at home to CFR Cluj and away to Chelsea ensuring that a fight is on the cards with Bordeaux for second place. However the side has been in horrendous form of late, and doesn’t simply seem to be able to find the back of the net. In three October Serie A fixtures, Roma conceded eight and scored just one. On Sunday, they lost 2-0 to Juventus, and pressure is mounting on the coach and the players to deliver. Roma seem to be low on confidence, but they did show resilience against Chelsea a fortnight ago before John Terry broke the deadlock. Roma’s last game against English opposition at the Stadio Olimpico was last season’s quarterfinal against Manchester United, which the latter won 2-0. Alberto Aquilani and Marco Cassetti will miss this game, and Roma are sweating on the fitness of inspirational skipper Francesco Totti.
Roma will defend, defend and defend, and hope to win with a goal on the counter. Can Chelsea break their opponents down ? I think they can, and will win this 2-0, with Lampard and Anelka scoring.