Chelsea – Middlesbrough (Premier League)
Chelsea and Middlesbrough face each other this Monday, at Stamford Bridge (London). This is a match of Premier League´s 36th round. Chelsea arrive here after a 0-3 win at at Goodison Park, which means they took a big step to keep the leadership. Boro, on their turn, arrive here after a cruel 2-2 home draw against Manchester City.
Chelsea hold the 1st place in the table with 81 points, 4 points advantage over the 2nd place, Tottenham, that come from 26 wins, 3 draws and 5 defeats, with 72 goals scored and 29 conceded in the process. The team has been presenting a remarkable season, since in their last 5 official matches, in this competition, they have won 4 matches and lost the other one. This sequence of results started with a 2-1 home win against Manchester City, that was followed by a 1-3 away win against Bournemouth, a 2-0 away loss against Manchester United, a 4-2 home win against Southampton, and as mentioned before, a 0-3 away win against Everton. In addition to these amazing results, they have reached FA Cup Finals for the 7th time, in the 21st century.
At home, so far, Antonio Conte’s team has played 16 matches: won 14 and lost the other 2. In addition, they have scored consistently: they have 43 goals scored and 13 conceded in the process.
The Blues only have to win three more games in order to be Premier League champions!
Probable Lineup: Courtois, Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill, Moses, Alonso, Kanté, Fàbregas, Pedro, Hazard, Diego Costa
Middlesbrough sit in the relegation zone, 19th position in the table, with 28 points, which comes from 5 victories, 13 draws and 27 defeats, with 26 goals scored and 45 goals conceded. Needing at least 6 points to leave the relegation zone and with only 3 games remaining, Middlesbrough’s Premier League survival hopes seem increasingly unrealistic.
In their last 5 official matches, in this competition, they have won 1 matches, drew 2 and lost the other 2. This sequence of results started with a 0-0 home draw against Burnley. This result was followed by a 1-2 home loss against Arsenal, a 4-0 away loss against Bournemouth, a 1-0 home win against Sunderland, and in their last clash as mentioned before, a 2-2 home draw against Manchester City.
Away from home in the Premier League so far, the team has played 17 matches: drew 7, lost 9 and have just won 1, in the beginning of the season, against Sunderland. Their form away from home is very poor, since in these 17 away matches they have 10 goals scored and 26 conceded.
Boro will face a team of very high quality and theoretically much superior, which in addition to being playing at home and have very talented players it’s 1st place in the league.
Chelsea have won their last 6 direct confronts in the Premier League.
Daniel Ayala, Victor Valdés and Grant Leadbitte are questionable players.
Probable Lineup: Guzan, Fabio, Chambers, Gibson, Friend, Clayton, Roon, Forshaw, Downing, Ramírez, Negredo
With a very offensive football, remarkable players and making good use of the home advantage, chelsea will try to win this match, while Boro will have to struggle in order to, at least, rescue a crucial point to win the relegation fight.