Chelsea are now in Baku, Azerbaijan, to take on Qarabag on Wednesday, with Antonio Conte’s side hoping to book their spot in the knockout stages of the 2018/18 UEFA Champions League.
They are on the trip without Victor Moses, although he is expected back for the team’s Premier League game this weekend. The Nigeria winger has been declared fit enough to face Liverpool in Saturday’s league clash at Anfield.
Moses limped out of Chelsea’s Premier League defeat to London rivals Crystal Palace on October 14, due to a hamstring which has seen him miss seven games in all competitions including the Nigeria games against Algeria and Argentina.
The Antonio Conte’s side are second in Group C, a point behind leaders Roma, but they can confirm their qualification with a victory in Baku.
A draw would also be enough for the Blues; providing Atletico Madrid do not beat Roma in the group’s other game later in the day.
Conte may field his strongest XI for this game, having described it as “the most important of the season” after Saturday’s win over West Bromwich Albion.
Cesc Fabregas, N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard were all substituted in the second half at the Hawthorns, in what looked like a bid to keep them fresh for the game on Wednesday.
However, Conte will also be mindful of the Chelsea trip to Anfield , which may well affect his selection.
Qarabag, meanwhile, will be without Pedro Henrique, due to suspension, but Dino Ndlovu is available again after his ban, by UEFA.
Chelsea opened this season’s European campaign with a 6-0 thrashing of Qarabag at Stamford Bridge, but the Azerbaijan champions have improved as two draws with Atletico Madrid shows.