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Chelsea players were full of praise as the team qualified for Champions League knockout stage and will be a part of the last 16 teams involved in the competition after beating 0-4 Qarabag in Baku.

CESC FABREGAS SOLER –Happy to be in the last 16. Time to recover for a big game on Saturday”

ANTONIO RUDIGER – Successful trip to Baku – Qualified for the knockout stages”

CESAR AZPILICUETA Great game from the whole team and 3 points that take us to the next round”

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In the Chelsea team who defeated Qarabag today two players stood among the others, according to former Manchester United’s defender Rio Ferdinand: Eden Hazard and Willian.

The man we spoke about, Eden Hazard, this ball here. Not many players on this planet see, let alone play that ball“. – Rio Ferdinand said about the pass which led to the first penalty – “I think it’s a pen, I think it’s definitely a pen. I think he’s tried to grab him, he’s got hold of him at some point. He’s gone down easy, yes Willian, but his intentions there were to drag him and slow him down and stop him from getting a shot off.”

Then Rio Ferdinand praises the Chelsea duo also about the second goal of the night: “This is beautiful football, this is hard to defend,” Ferdinand said on the goal. You can’t pick this apart in terms of saying they could have defended better. It’s quick, dynamic football, quick feet from Willian and the awareness from Hazard to pick out his partnering crime Willian.”

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Mission accomplished for Chelsea: Antonio Conte’s side trash Qarabag in Champions League group stage day 5 and qualify for the Last 16 stage of the competition.

The Blues scored two penalties, one with Eden Hazard in the first half, and one with Cesc Fabregas in the second; Willian scored twice and the game finished 4-0.

Now Chelsea are top of the table with 10 points and are sure of their place in the Last 16 stage.

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Chelsea are leading by two goals at half-time in their Champions League group stage game vs Qarabag.

The first goal was scored by Eden Hazard after 21 minutes with a penalty: on that occasion Qarabag player Sadygov was sent off by the referee.

The second goal was scored by Willian after 36 minutes with the assist provided by Eden Hazard. With this result Chelsea is, at the moment, top of the table in their group with 10 points.

In the same group tonight Atletico Madrid will face As Roma.

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Warm-up is underway as Chelsea and Qarabag will play a crucial game at 5PM in Baku. And official line-ups for the game have been announced:

QARABAG – Sehic, Medvedev, Sadigov, Agolli, Rzezniczak, Garayev, Michel, Madatov, Almeida de Oliveira, Guerrier, Ndlovu.

Subs: Kanibolotskiy, Yunuszada, Amirguliyev, Ismayilov, Diniyev, Quintana, Sheydaev

Manager: Qurban Qurbanov

CHELSEA – Courtois, Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Rudiger, Zappacosta, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso, Willian, Hazard, Pedro.

Subs: Caballero, Cahill, Christensen, Sterling, Drinkwater, Bakayoko, Morata.

Manager: Antonio Conte

Kick-Off: 5PM BST

Venue: Baku National Stadium

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Qarabag head coach Gurban Gurbanov is confident ahead of next clash against Chelsea at home: “We are preparing for a tough match. It is an important match both for us and rival, – the manager said – We understand everything. We know the strength of our rival. We will try to fight on the field until the end. This is our last match in Baku.”

The Azerbaijan side currently sit bottom of the group with two points, while Atletico Madrid are just one point above them in 3rd place. Chelsea and AS Roma will plausibly fight for the 1st spot, with the Giallorossi currently leading the table enjoying a one-point gap on the Blues.

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Chelsea travelled to Baku as they face Qarabag in the Champions League Group C today, with kick-off scheduled for 5PM (BST). In the first game of this competition, the Blues easily controlled the game securing a 6-0 win at Stamford Bridge, before picking up 4 more points from three games.

Team News

QARABAG 

  • Striker ​Dino Ndlovu is available again after spending a one-game ban;
  • Pedro Henrique is suspended and will not feature against the Premier League champions this evening.

CHELSEA 

  • David Luiz is expected to be part of the Antonio Conte‘s starting XI after reported bust-up with the Italian manager following the 3-0 suffered against AS Roma;
  • Victor Moses is sidelined as the Nigerian star is expected to recover his best form for upcoming Premier League clash against Liverpool;
  • Also Michy Batshuayi and Charly Musonda are out due to minor injuries.

Predicted Line Ups

Qarabag – Sehic; Medvedev, Sadygov, Rzezniczak, Agolli; Garayev; Madatov, Michel, Almeida, Quintana; Ndlovu.

Chelsea – Courtois; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Rudiger; Zappacosta, Kante, Drinkwater, Alonso; Willian, Morata, Pedro.

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Good news for Chelsea as defender David Luiz was part of the first-team squad in the training session ahead of next Champions League clash against Qarabag.

It is understood the Brazilian star was recently omitted from Chelsea squad from manager Antonio Conte “for tactical reasons”. The defender was also included in the provisional squad to face West Bromwich Albion, despite he didn’t feature at the Hawthorns on Saturday.

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Chelsea will face Azerbaijan side Qarabag without Victor Moses, Michy Batshuayi, Charly Musonda and Kenedy.

Anyway, manager Antonio Conte is confident ahead of tomorrow’s game: “I trust in all my players and I am sure of my choice, – Conte said – For sure I have to make the best decision for this game but it is normal to have rotation because we are have to play every three days”.

“But I repeat, this game versus Qarabag is very important as it is important not to arrive at the game against Atletico still waiting to go through, which could be more difficult of us”.

Chelsea have a chance to get a crucial qualification if they beat Qarabag tomorrow night, with Atletico Madrid currently sitting 3rd 4 points behind the Blues and AS Roma leading the table with 8 points.

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Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is keen to get a pass for the Champions League final stage as the Blues visit Qarabag in Azerbaijan tomorrow night.

“The first game was their first in the Champions League. – he said, when asked about the 6-0 in the opening game at Stamford Bridge – If you go to Chelsea, the champions, and maybe they were a bit [in awe]. We played a very good game as well, but I remember the first half was difficult for us”.

‘After that they gave Roma a really tough game here, they drew twice against Atletico, so we know we face a difficult game. They have changed a bit their tactics, they defend better, they have good strikers, and they are fast on the counter. I think they will give us the ball and try to make us make a mistake”.

Then Courtois added: “We are the favourites to win, our objective is to qualify tomorrow, so that means we have to win. For us it’s important to start very strong, to try to score early to put the pressure on them, and then hopefully we can have a good game and take the three points back to London”.

The Belgian international, when quizzed over his future at Chelsea, said: “The thing for me, the most important thing, is to perform well for myself and the team. Regarding my contract, that’s the thing where Chelsea must deal with my agent. I don’t think there have been any new developments”. 

“We have so many games at the moment, and I prefer to focus on the team’s games, my own performances. There will be time enough towards the end of the season to have talks.” 

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