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Home   /   Poch to go one step closer to silverware? Chelsea vs Middlesborough match preview.

Chelsea are set to face mid table Middlesbrough at 8pm tonight in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi final – the game will be played at the Riverside stadium.

Mauricio Pochettino hopes to carry on his solid cup run tonight in a game where the likes of Cole Palmer and Mykhailo Mudryk could thrive. Chelsea have not had a good season by any means but recently it seems their sharp youthful squad have been finding their feet more. They have 4 wins in their last 5 including the 1-1 (4-2 on penalties), result against Newcastle in the quarters before Christmas.

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Mudryk celebrates his equalizer in the quater finals.

The blues have let their lack of experience in the squad get over them at times, losing to Everton and Forest this season and often only getting a point against teams near the relegation zone. Pochettino has been known to be negative towards the domestic cups in England with his time at Spurs but he will know the importance of winning trophies for a squad of such young players.

Chelsea still remain the youngest squad in the league.

Michael Carrick’s side sit 12th in the table and have won 3 of their last 5 in the Championship but their display last Saturday showed their tenacity to stay in games, even against the top clubs. Their hopes of an FA Cup run were shut down on Saturday against 2nd place Aston Villa, but Carrick’s side defended well for the majority and if Poch’s side are too complacent they might also struggle to score early on.

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Matty Cash celebrates his winner against Middlesborough with Jacob Ramsey.

Middlesbrough could also be hopeful looking at Chelsea’s injury list, now with Nkunku out tonight with a hip problem, it will likely be up to Mudryk, Palmer and Broja to provide the goals.

However Chelsea still remain extremely strong favourites having won their last nine meetings with Middlesborough and not conceding in any of them, it seems Middlesborough will have a lot of work to do to have a chance of winning tonight.

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Chelsea beat Middlesborough 2-0 last time they faced in the FA Cup Quarter Final last season.

Predicted Chelsea XI: (4-2-3-1):

Petrovic, Gusto, Thiago Silva, Gilchrist, Colwill, Caicedo, Fernandez, Gallagher, Palmer, Mudryk, Broja.

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May 2024