x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Roma under pressure

Roma will be desperate to shake off some rust when they host last year's runners-up Chelsea in the Champions League.

Roma will be desperate to shake off some rust when they host last year's runners-up Chelsea in the Champions League The match marks Roma's first return to the Olimpico in this competition since losing to the Romanian debutants CFR Cluj 2-1. The Giallorossi, languishing in the bottom four in Serie A, cannot afford to lose any further ground in the group while the Blues are probably the most in-form side in Europe.

Luiz Felipe Scolari's men have had their problems this season on the injury front, with injuries to key players throughout the campaign. Just to name a few, the likes of Deco, Didier Drogba, Petr Cech, Michael Ballack and Michael Essien, have all spent significant time on the sidelines, and have just, or will soon make a return to the squad - or in Essien's case, require another six months out on the sidelines.

Meanwhile, Cech is delighted to have kept his 100th clean sheet for the club. Cech's blank against Sunderland in the 5-0 win at the weekend meant the Czech star reached the landmark after just 180 appearances for the club. Now he has his sights set on the club record - 205 - which is held by Peter Bonetti. In another Group match, Bordeaux will be without their goalkeeper Ulrich Rame as they go in search of a second win over Cluj in the space of a fortnight.

The veteran custodian has been troubled by adductor problems in the past month. "Tests will show if it is a strain but I will still have to have a period of rest," he said yesterday. * With agencies