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Stamford Bridge

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Chelsea face Watford in a crucial London Derby for the Blues’ title hopes following the 2-1 defeat suffered against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park last week.

Here are the official lineups for today’s game:

Chelsea – Courtois, Rudiger, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Alonso, Luiz, Fabregas, Bakayoko, Hazard, Pedro, Morata

Subs: Caballero, Musonda, Zappacosta, Willian, Batshuayi, Christensen, Ampadu

Manager: Antonio Conte

Watford – Gomes, Kabasele, Britos, Mariappa, Femenia, Cleverley, Doucoure, Holebas, Pereyra, Deeney, Richarlison

Subs: Karnezis (GK), Wagué, Janmaat, Watson, Capoue, Carrillo, Gray

Manager: Marco Silva

Kick-Off: 12.45PM BST

Venue: Stamford Bridge

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Chelsea and Barcelona will place further bids for Napoli defensive star and Senegal international Kalidou Koulibaly, according to reports in The Sun and Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo.  face competition from Barcelona for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, according to The Sun.

It is understood the Serie A giants are confident they can keep the 26-year-old at San Paolo this season, having rejected several bids from the Blues last summer. 

Chelsea reportedly made a £53m bid for the centre-back in June, but Napoli‘s president Aurelio De Laurentiis rejected any offer as he rates Koulibaly a key player in Maurizio Sarri‘s system.

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Crystal Palace forward Christian Benteke is on among the names linked with a move to Chelsea as potential replacements for Michy Batshuayi, as the Independent revealed this morning.

Antonio Conte is reportedly keeping tabs also on Leicester City star Jamie Vardy and Red Star Belgrade striker Richmond Boakye.

Benteke, who’s a compatriot of Batshuayi, joined Crystal Palace on a permanent move on 20th August 2016 for club-record £32m fee.

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Carlo Ancelotti returned to Stamford Bridge as a spectator in Chelsea‘s 3-3 draw against AS Roma in the Champions League last night.

The Italian manager, who won the Premier League and FA Cup with the Blues, posted this picture on Twitter:

“It’s a pleasure to return to Stamford Bridge to enjoy a great Champions match” wrote the Italian manager, who was sacked from Bayern Munich last month following a 3-0 defeat suffered against Paris Saint-Germain at Parc des Princes.

Ancelotti himself is also a legend of AS Roma after spending 8 seasons in the capital – between 1979 and 1987 – as midfielder.

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Antonio Conte, speaking at a press conference after Champions League’s 3-3 draw against AS Roma, told journalists José Mourinho should stop talking about Chelsea focusing on his squad.

“A lot of time, also last season, I think he has to think about his team and stop – Conte claimed – To look at himself, not the others.”

The Manchester United boss suggested the Italian manager was “crying” about his injury problems, with Drinkwater, Moses and Kante currently sidelined. Moreover, also David Luiz and Tiemoue Bakayoko suffered injuries last night.

 

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Edin Dzeko was a nightmare for Chelsea‘s defense as he scored a brace putting AS Roma ahead at Stamford Bridge, before Eden Hazard found a late equalizer and rescued a vital point for the Blues.

“A point is positive for us, plus we put on an incredible display, all of us from the get-go. – the Bosnia-Erzegovina forward said – It’s a shame we conceded the goals we did. We need to work harder, but we did well today.

“Chelsea are a strong team, they basically scored three goals from three opportunities. Our mentality was the right one, from the first minute we played our game against Chelsea, who are a great side. I’m very happy.”

AS Roma currently sit 2nd on Group C table with 5 points, 2 points behind the Premier League champions and 3 points above Atletico Madrid, who produced a clean sheet against Qarabag last evening.

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Eden Hazard was stunning in Chelsea‘s home draw against AS Roma last night. The Belgian star scored twice as the Blues rescued a vital point in their race to win Group C.

Hazard reckons the fans would have loved to win against the Serie A side: “I think for the fans it was a good game to watch but for Chelsea, it was like 50 per cent because when you are winning 2-0 at home, you must win the game”.

“But Roma have good players and they created a lot of chances and a least we take one point and it is not a bad result. We stay first in the group and we will go to Rome to win the game because we want to finish the job early”.

“It is not something I do a lot, score with my head,’ he said, ‘but it is good just to score although when we win the game it is better. We played better at Atletico and we won the game and I did not score, and I prefer to play this kind of game, but for the confidence it is always good to score”.

The Hazard added: “We gave everything until the end of the game, maybe we should score another goal to win it but one point is enough after two defeats, it is not easy to bounce back against a great team but we did”.

“After the game against Atletico which we won, the journalists and people were talking about Chelsea winning the Champions League but we know it is not easy, we face a lot of good teams in the competition – but we will see at the end. We are ready to go as far as possible”.


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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte had to provide injury updates on Tiemoue Bakayoko and David Luiz, who was substituted early in the second half due to a problem on his calf.

“After the first half the doctor told me David Luiz had a pain in his calf, and the same for Bakayoko in his groin. – Conte told Chelsea’s official website speaking after the game against AS Roma – It was a good decision to try to protect him. In this moment it’s very important to protect the players”.

Conte underlined the absences of N’Golo Kante, Danny Drinkwater and Victor Moses“We must realise we had three important players out and this gives us problems, but I am not looking for excuses now.”

“I tried an extra defender to protect more the team, but in terms of the style and system I want to see, it must always be the same”.

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte wanted ‘to be honest’ when he spoke after his side’s 3-3 home draw against AS Roma last night, as he ‘did not like the type of football we did for a lot of the game’.

“It’s right to take responsibility for this. – Conte added – I tried with one hand to protect my team to become more solid, and move a central defender into midfield, Luiz. On the other hand, we totally lost our style of football. I didn’t like this”.

“In the end I think the result was fair. We were 2-0 up but we weren’t in control of the game and it’s right to take the responsibility for this”. 

“Sometimes you have to find the right solution to try to protect your team. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad. When we switched back to our system, we pushed deeper, we had chances and in some instances we played good football”.

“You know our situation very well. It was good to draw because Roma deserved this result. I have to praise my players because they showed me a big effort, a big commitment tonight otherwise we lose the game”.

Chelsea remain on top of Group C table with 7 points, above the Italian side (5 points), Atletico Madrid (2 points) and Qarabag (1 point).

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Chelsea were dominant in the first half as they scored twice with David Luiz and Eden Hazard before AS Roma defender Kolarov found the net reducing the gap. The Serie A giants completed the comeback in the second period thanks to Edin Dzeko, who scored a brace at Stamford Bridge and put the Giallorossi ahead for the first time.

Hazard, diverting a Pedro cross, sealed a 3-3 draw with a brilliant header. This result means that Antonio Conte‘s men remain 1st on table with 7 points, above AS Roma (5 points) and Atletico Madrid (2 points). Chelsea will face AS Roma again on October the 31st.

Alvaro Morata came back in action, while both David Luiz and Tiemoue Bakayoko suffered minor injuries respectively on calf and adductor muscle, as manager Antonio Conte confirmed speaking after the game.

Chelsea (3-5-2): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill (c); Zappacosta (Rudiger 77), Fabregas, David Luiz (Pedro 57), Bakayoko, Alonso; Hazard (Willian 80), Morata.
Scorers David Luiz 11, Hazard 37, 75.
Booked Bakayoko 69

Roma (4-3-3): Becker; Peres, Fazio, Jesus, Kolarov; Nainggolan (c), Gonalans, Strootman (Florenzi 83), Gerson (Pellegrini 73), Dzeko, Perotti (El Shaarawy 88).
Scorers Kolarov 40, Dzeko 64, 70.

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