EFL Cup: Middlesbrough vs. Chelsea Match Predictions, Fantasy Football Tips, Team News and Line-ups

EFL Cup: Middlesbrough vs. Chelsea Match Predictions, Fantasy Football Tips, Team News and Line-ups
EFL Cup: Middlesbrough vs. Chelsea Match Predictions, Fantasy Football Tips, Team News and Line-ups

EFL Cup – Middlesbrough vs. Chelsea: Middlesbrough and Chelsea will soon return to knockout action on Tuesday when the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final takes place at Riverside Stadium.

This comes after the teams’ divergent outcomes in their FA Cup third-round matches.

In a thrilling penalty shootout, the Blues defeated Newcastle United to advance to the last four, and in the quarterfinals, Michael Carrick’s team defeated Port Vale three times without answering.

EFL Cup: Middlesbrough vs. Chelsea Match Predictions, Fantasy Football Tips, Team News and Line-ups

Although Middlesbrough’s FA Cup match against Aston Villa ended in a loss, manager Michael Carrick was largely positive during his post-match press conference, understandably so after witnessing his team battle it out with the underdog Premier League title contenders.

Currently residing in the middle of the Championship rankings, Boro managed to hold out against the Lions for 87 minutes, but a speculative Matty Cash goal that significantly deflected Emmanuel Latte Lath’s shot proved to be the game’s undoing. The Lions are led by serial cup specialist Unai Emery.

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Even though Cash’s effort went into the lower corner, there were probably some sad faces in the Riverside, but Middlesbrough could take some positives away from the one-goal loss—even though it was Carrick’s team’s third loss in four games overall.

However, in the 2023–24 EFL Cup, the hosts have let their attacking strength speak for itself. They have defeated Huddersfield Town, Exeter City, Bolton Wanderers, Bradford City, and most recently Port Vale to get to the final four, scoring two goals or more in each of those wins, all of which have occurred away from home.

Middlesbrough has advanced from its previous three EFL Cup semi-final matches, winning the most recent one in 2003–04 after surprising Arsenal in the final four that year.

However, in four of their previous five home games in the competition, Boro have lost.

During Preston’s Saturday night visit to Stamford Bridge, Chelsea’s Midas touch also momentarily escaped them. Mauricio Pochettino’s team was unable to break through Ryan Lowe’s solid defence, but the floodgates opened in the second half.

The second-half rout was started by Armando Broja, who skillfully headed a smart header into the bottom corner.

Thiago Silva also scored at the near post, Raheem Sterling sent in a clean free kick, and Enzo Fernandez completed a thrilling four-goal victory by tapping in from close range.

Preparations for the fourth EFL Cup final in as many years will intensify as the Blues await word on the fate of their fourth-round opponents, which is set to be confirmed on Monday. Chelsea advanced from such matches in the 2021–22 and 2018–19 seasons after losing to Arsenal in the 2017–18 competition.

Although Middlesbrough has only travelled during this season’s EFL Cup, Chelsea has triumphed in four of its past eight away games in the competition, including matches against AFC Wimbledon, Blackburn Rovers, Brighton & Hove Albion, and Newcastle, all in front of the Stamford Bridge crowd.

Chelsea, however, has won nine straight games against their upcoming hosts after defeating Middlesbrough 2-0 in the FA Cup 2021–22.

EFL Cup: Middlesbrough vs. Chelsea Match Predictions, Fantasy Football Tips, Team News and Line-ups

They also triumphed over Boro by the same score in the 1997–98 EFL Cup final; a repeat on Tuesday would put the Blues in a strong position to face either Fulham or Liverpool in the championship game.

Middlesbrough EFL Cup form:

W W W W W

Middlesbrough form (all competitions):

W W L W L L

Chelsea EFL Cup form:

W W W W

Chelsea form (all competitions):

W W L W W W

Morgan Rogers, an attacker for Middlesbrough, received his second booking of the EFL Cup after the team’s victory against Port Vale. As a result, he will miss one game during Tuesday’s opening leg of the competition. However, single yellow cards are eliminated following the quarterfinals.

The absence of Cup-tied players Finn Azaz and Sam Greenwood, who played for Leeds United and Plymouth Argyle earlier in the tournament, will further reduce Carrick’s reserves.

Meanwhile, Australians Samuel Silvera and Riley McGree, along with Senegal goalkeeper Seny Dieng, are away on international duty.

Over the weekend, no new injury concerns surfaced; nevertheless, Tom Smith (Achilles), Darragh Lenihan (Achilles), Lewis O’Brien (ankle), Marcus Forss (thigh), and Patrick McNair (back) are still out of action.

The manager of Chelsea, Maurizio Sarri, is having to deal with his own never-ending absence problem once more.

This problem is made worse by Nicolas Jackson’s AFCON call-up and a fresh hip injury sustained by Christopher Nkunku, who was left out of the starting lineup for the team’s victory over Preston last weekend.

Ben Chilwell (hamstring), Wesley Fofana (knee), Marc Cucurella (ankle), Robert Sanchez (knee), Lesley Ugochukwu (hamstring), Trevoh Chalobah (thigh), and Romeo Lavia (thigh) are undoubtedly out, but Nkunku may still be declared fit for the first leg given that Ben Chilwell (hamstring), Carney Chukwuemeka (knee), and Benoit Badiashile (unspecified) are in the same boat.

Because he played for Nottingham Forest in the EFL Cup while on loan, the recently-recalled Andrey Santos is likewise ineligible.

Ian Maatsen’s participation is also in doubt due to rumours that he has verbally agreed to go on loan to Borussia Dortmund.

Middlesbrough possible starting lineup:

Glover; Van den Berg, Clarke, Fry, Bangura; Howson, Barlaser; Jones, Crooks, Latte Lath; Coburn

Chelsea possible starting lineup:

Petrovic; Gusto, Disasi, Silva, Colwill; Gallagher, Fernandez; Madueke, Palmer, Sterling; Broja

Our prediction for this match 3-1 or 2-0 won by Chelsea

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