Chelsea and Roma appear to be running on almost parallel tracks heading into Wednesday’s big Champions League game at Stamford Bridge. Sitting fifth in the Premier League and the Serie A, respectively, they will be looking to return to winning ways after Saturday defeats. Chelsea lost away to Crystal Palace, the worst team in the league while Roma lost at home to Napoli, the worst team in that league. (LOL, no, they’re the best team in that league.)
More worryingly for the Italians, they also lost possibly two defensive starters, as both Kostas Manolas and Lorenzo Pellegrini picked up injuries during the game. Manolas, the team’s best center back is expected to miss Wednesday’s game, while young Pellegrini, a defensive midfielder, was apparently taken off more as a precaution.
“[Manolas] hurt himself during that chance for Dries Mertens and I think it is practically impossible to see him on the pitch on Wednesday.”
-Eusebio Di Francesco; source: Sky Italia via Football Italia
Manolas and Pellegrini add to Roma’s already extensive injury concerns, which include creative attackers Stephan El Shaarawy and Gregoire Defrel as well as the seemingly always injured midfielder Kevin Strootman. Meanwhile, summer arrivals Patrick Schick and Rick Karsdorp have had a rather Drinkwater-esque time in the Italian capital so far, making a combined zero appearances.
Over at Chelsea, Victor Moses has become the third player to pick up a hamstring injury in three weeks, and while Álvaro Morata could be back, Antonio Conte’s choices are just as limited as Eusebio Di Francesco’s.
“We have to prepare for the next game against Roma in the Champions League. We have to check all the players and then to try to do our best. We have to go game by game. This season will be very difficult in all aspects. We must be focused game by game and try to do our best.”
-Antonio Conte; source: Sky