Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Sport | By Scott Davis

UCL: Chelsea midfielder doubtful for Qarabag clash

UCL: Chelsea midfielder doubtful for Qarabag clash

"If I have to choose between the two, [Champions and Premier League] it would be the Champions League", Bakayoko said.

Goals from Pedro, Zappacosta, Azpilicueta were more than enough to get Chelsea the three Champions League points tonight against Qarabag, who posed very little threat throughout. "I am not at 100 per cent, I need maybe a couple more games to get to that level, but I just want to be on the pitch and enjoy the situation". "You are never relaxed in England". To play 60, 65 games is normal, but it's not easy.

Conte's counterpart, Gurbanov, is more than happy to ignore the bigger picture and has urged his underdogs to play without fear, via ESPN. In England it is not easy to do this. "Until the end of your career you can always improve". The risk could be to play with the same players as against Leicester and then after the game you think, 'Why didn't you change the team that was tired?' You know very well in this league there are six or seven teams ready to fight not only for the title, but also for a place in the Champions League and the Europa League. Then we play tomorrow, then a tough game against Arsenal. Although Drinkwater was an unused substitute in last weekend's game against his former club, it appears he has suffered yet another injury blow. It has back fired for them often in the Champions League. They are also the last English club to win the competition (2012).

Chelsea have lost only one of their last 13 Champions League group games (W9 D3), away against Porto in September 2015 (1-2). The teams from the third bracket will be competing at the Stamford Bridge. They have not managed to sign any new players this summer due to their transfer ban but the team is still intact.

Although Chelsea will still fancy their chances of getting through to the knockout stages, squad strength could well become an issue after that.

Chelsea failed to qualify for the Champions League in the last campaign and, as they prepare to return to Europe's elite competition this season, the Belgium worldwide is hopeful that his team can lift the trophy again.

They have all the momentum at the moment, with three straight wins against some quality opposition as well as the return of Eden Hazard. He took Juventus to the quarter-finals once as boss and they have thrived in the competition since he left to take charge of Italy. Indeed, for club and country already this season, Morata has scored 5 goals in 4 games.

"But not just the Champions League, the World Cup, the European Cup".

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