Chelsea can secure its place in the Champions League knockout stage with a win over Qarabag.

By 90Min
November 20, 2017

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte believes that Wednesday's UCL game against Azerbaijan's Qarabag is their biggest game of the season so far. A win guarantees progress to the knockout stages of the competition. 

Speaking to the club's official website, the manager said: "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.

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"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."

The Blues will face a more resilient side to the one they comfortably dispatched 6-0 back in September and will need to be prepared for a difficult encounter. 

After suffering a disappointing defeat to AS Roma in their last Champions League game, Chelsea have responded positively with consecutive victories against Manchester United and West Brom in the Premier League. 

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The Italian continued: "In Rome we didn’t deserve to finish the first half 2-0 down, but the second half was negative because we didn’t show the desire to come back to try to draw it or win.

"But I think this season, we faced a lot of problems from the start and now we are trying to solve these problems, to recall players, to find the right form for players like, for example, Eden and it is the same for Morata who is playing his first season in England."

After the impressive all-around performance at the Hawthorns on Saturday, Conte was quick to highlight how his team are adapting their approach to last season: 

"This season, we are changing something compared to last season to find a new balance and solidity, to have a good balance when we are attacking and when we are defending. 

"I hope we continue to improve – this was a good win for us, we finished with a clean sheet and we have to continue with this work."

Conte now has team playing with confidence with key players finding their form and influencing games. 

However, the demanding Italian appreciates that to be successful domestically and in Europe he needs his team to have unity and understanding of their role as every member of his squad has an important role to play. 

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