CHELSEA should not worry about losing 3-0 in Rome last month.
If you concede early against a quality team, you have to play more openly — and can get picked off.
It came during their worst period of the season.
But since then Chelsea seem to be playing better and all that matters is qualification.
It is less of an issue whether you finish first or second when there are so many good teams likely to go through.
Indeed, there is often more pressure when you are at home in the second leg, especially as so many first-leg games are 0-0.
The only thing that matters for Chelsea is to go through.
And they will do that if they win in Azerbaijan.
This is really a game where it is all about how many Chelsea win by.
And I think they will do it comfortably.
PREDICTION: QARABAG 0 CHELSEA 2
BLUE PRINT Chelsea without Michy Batshuayi, Victor Moses and Charly Musonda as they prepare for Champions League clash
CHELSEA boss Antonio Conte made a big decision the other week when he left David Luiz out of his squad for the victory over Manchester United.
From the outside it might not be obvious why but Conte works with Luiz every day and knows the special qualities of each player.
The Italian is a smart man who knows the game.
And if he feels he has better options than Luiz, he will do what he thinks is best for the team — even if that is hard for the player being left out.
I have always said that names are not important. What matters is quality.
And so if a coach looks at an older, more experienced guy and feels he’s not been good enough he has the right to make the big call.
IN THE absence of David Luiz, Andreas Christensen has to come in.
I saw a lot of Danish defender Christensen when he was loaned out to Moenchengladbach.
At 21, he is the future of Chelsea. He is intelligent, he reads the game and gets into position.
Monchengladbach had hoped to get him for another year — but I suspect Conte saw Christensen was ready to play for a big team.
Another good thing for Chelsea is that Eden Hazard has hit form after breaking his ankle in the summer.
He is improving all the time and working well with Alvaro Morata.
Hazard has found his level again, dangerous whenever he gets the ball and scoring goals.
That is what good players can do — and he is certainly a top player.