In a round of Champions League fixtures packed with excitement and intrigue, few games jump out more than Roma v Chelsea. Their 3-3 draw in London a fortnight ago was a thrilling affair, and the neutrals will be hoping for more of the same as they lock horns once again tonight.
Chelsea have won 3 from 3 since the sides’ last meeting, although the feeling that they’re yet to hit top gear this term is difficult to escape. Eden Hazard’s decisive goal against Bournemouth on Saturday may yet signal a turning point in his relatively quiet start to the season, and an injection of his magic would make a big difference tonight.
That is, in no small part, due to the quality of Roma’s defensive displays of late. Since their visit to London they’ve played 3, won 3 and kept 3 clean sheets, taking their total for the season up to 9 already. They’re a formidable unit, and one that Chelsea will have to be at their best to break down.
Our Ultimate Form Guide, however, suggests that’s unlikely, with Roma current outperforming their Premier League visitors in 14 out of 18 key statistical areas.
The main reason for that is the aforementioned defensive record. Whilst Chelsea are averaging more goals per game than Roma, the Giallorossi are far better at the back. They concede 1 goal per game fewer on average, allow 2 shots fewer on their goal and allow just 6% of those shots to find the back of their net.
All of which suggests that, if the goals begin flying in as they did at Stamford Bridge, then Chelsea look a strong bet to claim victory. If Roma manage to keep it tight and they game’s to be decided by the odd goal, however, then it’s the hosts who will fancy their chances of claiming an all-important 3 points.