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Middlesbrough claimed a shocked 1-0 victory against Chelsea in the first leg of this EFL Cup semi-final tie. They were as big as 6.75 to prevail in that fixture and they now take a precious advantage to Stamford Bridge. Premier League outfit Chelsea are still big favourites to make it to another Wembley final, but they must at least win the match inside 90 minutes to keep their chances alive. Both teams will be giving it absolutely everything so an enthralling clash awaits.
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Chelsea vs Middlesbrough Predicted Lineups
Madueke ready to slot back into the side
The West Londoners have a glut of injuries with the likes of Christopher Nkunku, Reece James and Wesley Fofana on the sidelines to name but a few. Nicolas Jackson is on AFCON duty with Senegal and Ben Chilwell might have to start on the bench as he is nursed back to full fitness. Chelsea should name a similar XI to the one which beat Fulham 1-0 last weekend with perhaps Noni Madueke coming in for Armando Broja being the only possible change. Cole Palmer could play upfront as a false nine.
Howson and Rogers could be carrying knocks
Boro have injury concerns with Emmanuel Latte Lath ruled out and both Jonny Howson and Morgan Rogers doubtful. They have three players on international duty including first choice keeper Seny Dieng. While Sam Silvera and Riley McGree are with Australia at the Asian Cup. Boro should lineup in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Leeds loanee Luke Ayling slotting in at right back.
Chelsea vs Middlesbrough Team Stats
Chelsea cards and corners the way to go
Chelsea are underperforming their xG total of 1.98 per game. They have only averaged 1.67 goals and too many players have failed to convert their chances. A lot of Chelsea stats are quite mediocre though which is probably why they have been a middle-of-the-road team this term. Corners have been on the high side in Chelsea games at 10.20 and it is noticeable that cards have flowed at a high average of 6.48 per contest.
Boro will come under pressure
Middlesbrough have decent xG and xGA figures but this will be considerably harder for them against Premier League opposition. They have restricted teams to just 11.04 shots against per match on average, but Chelsea fired in a massive 17 attempts in the first leg. A lot of Boro stats could be distorted because they play in the Championship, where cards are known for being much lower on average. Corner numbers are very high in Boro fixtures at 11.43 per game, but will they get much of the ball in Chelsea territory?
Chelsea vs Middlesbrough Shots and Shots on Target Stats
Madueke a manic shooter
Chelsea are not a team who can be relied on for shot accuracy. Too many of their players fire wide of the mark. In the first leg they only had 5 shots on target from 17 attempts. Cole Palmer remains the top option to hit the target, aided by the fact he should be on penalty duty. He could be added to your Chelsea bet builder at 1.25 in this market. Other players such as Noni Madueke and Raheem Sterling are best looked at in the shots market. They are 1.80 and 1.44 respectively to have three or more shots.
Rogers ready to take his chance
Middlesbrough only had five shots in the first leg with two on target. We don’t think any of their players can be trusted in this market and they might get limited opportunities at Stamford Bridge. The starting striker, Morgan Rogers, to have two or more shots at 1.83 is perhaps the best option in what might be a night of limited chances for the visitors.
Chelsea vs Middlesbrough Goals and Assists Stats
Cole in pole position to score
Cole Palmer might start upfront for Chelsea in this match in a deeper role or as a shadow striker. He is 2.50 to score anytime which holds plenty of appeal due to the position he might play, and also the fact he’ll be on spot kicks. Raheem Sterling can be inconsistent but is a definite threat and could be a dual threat in the ‘to score or assist’ market at 1.73.
Rogers the man who could get opportunities
Morgan Rogers is set to play upfront for Boro and he can be backed at 4.20 to score or assist. He could be the biggest threat if the visitors do get on the scoresheet. Marcus Forss could also be an option in this market at 3.60 but it might be slim pickings for the Teesside outfit as big underdogs here.
Chelsea Cards and Fouls Stats
West Londoners a dirty outfit
No team has picked up more cards than Chelsea in the Premier League this season. They have racked up 66 yellows and 3 reds at an average of 3.48 per game. They also rank third for fouls committed at 12.60 per contest. They should have plenty of the ball here but will certainly play cynically if needed. They are also the sort of team who pick up a lot of cards for dissent as well. Players such as Conor Gallagher and Raheem Sterling stand out as potential candidates. Cole Palmer has started to become a card magnet and is a juicy 5.0 to go into the book. Gallagher is 1.53 to commit two or more fouls and 3.40 to be carded.
Middlesbrough rank in the top seven for most fouled teams in the Championship this season at exactly 11 per game. They managed to draw 9 fouls from Chelsea in the first leg and will certainly be playing for free kicks here. Hackney and Rogers could be the biggest threat on the break and maybe some midfielders such as Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo. The latter would have to be backed to have two or more fouls to make it worthwhile at 1.67.
Middlesbrough Cards and Fouls Stats
Boro may sit back
Boro have been one of the cleanest teams in the Championship this season ranking fifth-lowest for cards obtained. They pick up less than two cards on average per game. In terms of fouling, they are mid-rank at 11.30 per fixture. They only committed 8 fouls in the first leg. Michael Carrick likes his attackers to press hard and in a safer area of the field we can perhaps expect the likes of Hyaden Hackney and Rogers to get stuck in. Hackney is 1.62 to commit two or more fouls and Rogers is bigger at 1.91.
Chelsea are the sixth-most fouled team in the Premier League this season and are known for winning several free kicks. They have a large number of flair players and competent dribblers. Sterling, Malo Gusto and Noni Madueke could cause havoc, especially in the wide areas. Both Boro full backs Luke Ayling and Lukas Engel, therefore, could be vulnerable.
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