Belfast Telegraph

Dzeko warns Roma to expect backlash from beleaguered Blues

 

By Matt McGeehan

Roma striker Edin Dzeko expects to face an “angry” Chelsea in tonight’s Champions League Group C clash at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea were beaten 2-1 by Premier League bottom club Crystal Palace last Saturday, on a day when Roma’s five-match winning run was halted by Napoli.

Former Manchester City striker Dzeko said: “That’s the English Premier League. You can win against the best teams and then lose against the last.

“Chelsea is a great team with some amazing players. Tomorrow we’ll play maybe also against an angry, but top team.

“Their coach (Antonio Conte) will put pressure on them.

“(But) we didn’t come here to play and lose, we came here to give our best and have a positive result.”

Bosnia striker Dzeko has scored 10 goals in 13 appearances for club and country this season and was Serie A top scorer with 29 goals last term, earning a nomination for the Ballon d’Or.

Dzeko dismissed his chances of winning Fifa’s prestigious world player of the year prize, but says he is getting better with age.

The 31-year-old said: “I feel good, I’m healthy and that’s the first and most important thing. All of these goals I’ve scored is also because of my team-mates. They’re very good.

“I never want to stop and I want to try to be even better.”

Roma boss Eusebio di Francesco is demanding an improvement on the defeat against Napoli, but his side are without defender Kostas Manolas, who is expected to be out for around a month due to a thigh strain.

Di Francesco said: “I want my team to respond after the performance against Napoli.

“There will be a different approach from the game against Napoli.

“We’re going to play against a team that just lost against a team that is at the bottom of the table, but we’re fully concentrated on our squad.”

Chelsea vs Roma

Champions League Group C:

Stamford Bridge, Tonight, 7.45pm

Belfast Telegraph

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