Chelsea can further their chances of securing a spot in the last-32 of the Europa League when they host BATE Borisov at Stamford Bridge on Thursday evening.
Maurizio Sarri's side have won both of their opening European fixtures so far and will be looking to extend their winning streak to three, with victory against the Belarusian league winners set to leave them in a strong position to reach the knockout phase.
|Game||Chelsea vs BATE|
|Date||Thursday, October 25|
|Time||8pm BST / 3pm EST|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game will not be televised but will be livestreamed via B/R Live.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will be televised on BT Sport 2 and streamed through BT Sport Live.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|BT Sport 2||BT Sport Live|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Kepa, Caballero, Bulka|
|Defenders||Rudiger, Alonso, Zappacosta, Cahill, Christensen, Azpilicueta|
|Midfielders||Fabregas, Jorginho, Kante, Barkley, Pedro, Loftus-Cheek, Ampadu, Hudson-Odoi, Moses, Willian|
Eden Hazard picked up a back injury during Saturday's encounter with Manchester United and is out for the clash with BATE, while Ethan Ampadu has been ruled out after picking up a knee injury on international duty with Wales.
Callum Hudson-Odoi was another doubt after being excluded from the squad with a knock but ultimately makes the bench.
Confirmed Chelsea XI: Kepa; Zappacosta, Cahill, Christensen, Emerson; Loftus-Cheek, Fabregas, Kovacic; Pedro, Giroud, Willian.
|Defenders||Rios, Polyakov, Filipenko, Volodko|
|Midfielders||Baga, Yablonski, Dragun, Hleb, Berezkin, Volkov, Moukam|
|Forwards||Ivanic, Tuominen, Stasevich, Skavysh, Gordeychuk, Signevich|
Confirmed BATE XI: Scherbitski; Rios, Milunovic, Filipenko, Volodko; Baga, Dragun, Hleb; Skavysh, Signevich, Stasevich.
Betting & Match Odds
Chelsea are considered to be strong 1/7 favourites to emerge victorious with bet 365, while a draw is available at 8/1. A win for BATE is priced at 25/1.
The Blues can make it three straight wins in the Europa League should they taste victory against BATE, though Maurizio Sarri's side have been far from convincing in the campaign so far – only managing two narrow 1-0 wins against PAOK and Videoton in their previous outings.
A win on Thursday evening, however, will be enough to edge them ever closer to the last-32 stage as they sit three points clear of both PAOK and BATE, and are the only team to have registered two wins.
Sarri confirmed the exclusion of star player Hazard, telling reporters in his pre-match press conference:
"Tomorrow [he] is out for sure. He has a back problem and we are trying to solve the problem for Sunday. It's not very easy."
Jorginho is another player who could miss out on action against BATE as Sarri will have one eye on a clash away at Burnley as well as a Carabao Cup tie against Derby County next Wednesday, in which he will face former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard in the dugout.
"The problem will be on Sunday, when we will play after 65 hours, so we need to change something," Sarri added.
"For example, Jorginho needs to rest now because he played for 90 minutes in the two matches with the national team, then for 90 minutes – or, better, for 100 minutes – in the last match [against Manchester United]."