Injuries take center stage in upcoming Chelsea-Roma CL clash

16 October at 18:30
One of the biggest Champions League matchups this week will feature Roma and Chelsea on Wednesday. However, despite the firepower on both rosters, injuries will take center stage as both Italian managers prepare for the clash.
 
Chelsea will limp into the match after an embarrassing defeat to last-place Crystal Palace this past weekend. One major component to their unexpected result was the absences of N’Golo Kante, Albano Morata, and Danny Drinkwater. 
 
Similarly, Roma will head into the match short-handed as Kevin Strootman, Stephan El Shaarawy, Gregoire Defrel, Patrik Schick, and Emerson all missed their 1-0 loss to Napoli. What’s worse for the Giallorossi is star defender Kostas Manolas came out in the 59th minute and is set to miss out on both Chelsea matches. 
 
For Antonio Conte, the loss of both former Leicester midfielders, Kante and Drinkwater, has killed his club’s ability to control the center of the pitch. Morata has left Eden Hazard on a virtual island up top, despite having Michy Batshuayi and Willian available. 
 
For Roma’s Eusebio Di Francesco, he’s virtually missing an entire starting XI. The multitude of injures consist of more than half of his potential starting XI. The loss of Manolas will sting the most. Defense is the area in which Roma lacks most depth and will now, likely, need to rely on Juan Jesus to fill the gap in center, along with Federico Fazio. One potentiality, if Di Francesco wants to be extremely creative, is to put Daniele De Rossi as Manolas’ replacement in center. 
 
Despite the titanic matchup on Wednesday, it appears that the iceberg has already struck both rosters.

Matthew Klimberg

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