Chelsea will be considered strong favourites to reach the semi-finals of the Europa League for the second time when they host Slavia Prague in their last-eight second-leg tie on Thursday evening.
The Blues, who won the competition in 2013, mostly flattered to deceive in the Czech capital last week,
but secured victory and a vital late away goal courtesy of left-back Marcos Alonso.
Maurizio Sarri’s men will now be expected to put the disappointment of a 2-0 Premier League defeat at Liverpool to one side
– a result that contributed to them losing their short-lived grip on fourth place –
and extend their 14-match unbeaten streak in European football’s secondary club competition.
Czech First League leaders Slavia Prague, who drew 1-1 with rivals Sparta at the weekend,
have lost all six of the European ties in which they were defeated at home in the first leg.
They have beaten English opposition just once in 10 attempts and won only three of their previous 27 European away matches.
In addition to Slavia Prague not faring too well on the road in Europe,
Chelsea have triumphed in all 11 European ties in which they have won the first leg away from home.
That run should continue here, though the Czech outfit are certainly no pushovers and will look to punish any signs of complacency.
Chelsea team news and predicted line-ups
Antonio Rudiger will not be in contention to face Slavia Prague, but the German defender is expected to still be available for the run-in
after a scan showed that the knee injury that forced him off at Anfield on Sunday is only minor.
David Luiz and Andreas Christensen should be paired together in his absence,
with the lesser-spotted Gary Cahill set to earn a rare spot among the substitutes.
Ethan Ampadu is still struggling with a back issue, while Marco van Ginkel (knee) is a long-term absentee.
For Jindrich Trpisovsky’s visitors, only forward Stanislav Tecl and midfielder Jakub Hromada are missing with long-term injuries.
Miroslav Stoch should line up against his former club once more.
Chelsea XI: Kepa, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Luiz, Alonso, Kante, Jorginho, Barkley, Pedro, Giroud, Willian
TV channel and live stream, and online coverage
The match will be televised live on BT Sport 3. BT Sport subscribers will be able to stream the match online via the video player and the BT Sport app.
You can also follow all the action on Sport2’s LIVE blog.
Head to head (h2h) history and results
Last week’s match was the first-ever competitive meeting between the two sides.