Antonio Conte states his prediction for Qarabag v Chelsea
Antonio Conte warns his Chelsea players not to underestimate Qarabag ahead of Wednesday's Champions League clash
Antonio Conte has warned his Chelsea team not to underestimate Qarabag ahead of their Champions League clash on Wednesday night.
The Blues head into the game knowing that a victory against Qarabag would book their place in the last 16 of Europe’s elite club competition.
Chelsea were convincing 6-0 winners over the Azerbaijan team back in September at Stamford Bridge, but Wednesday’s opponents have looked much improved in recent weeks and drew with Atletico Madrid both home and away.
Conte’s side head into the game fresh from their impressive 4-0 victory over West Brom at The Hawthorns on Saturday as the west London side climbed up to third place in the Premier League table.
However, Conte has told his players that they must be at their best when they take on Qarabag in Azerbaijan on Wednesday night.
Conte told Chelsea’s website: “We have to play the most important game of the season from the start until now.
“If we are able to win against Qarabag, we can go through to the next round of the Champions League and this is very important because this period from now until January is very busy, so it is very important to win the game.
“For sure it won’t be easy because in the last two games they drew twice against Atletico Madrid, and before that they lost the game but Roma were struggling a lot to win against them so it is very important to be focused, to work and to try to win the game.”
Defending champions Chelsea will then switch their attentions back towards Premier League affairs and their crunch clash against Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday evening.
The Blues, who won the title in style under Conte last term, are currently in third place in the Premier League table and nine points behind leaders Manchester City after 12 games of the new campaign.