Middlesbrough will visit Chelsea to the Riverside Stadium on Saturday in the FA Cup quarter-finals, looking for yet another famous scalp. The Championship side advanced after defeating Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 in the fifth round, while the Blues had to beat Luton Town 3-2 on the road to the final.
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Middlesbrough vs Chelsea preview
Middlesbrough were paired with another Premier League Big Six club in Tottenham for a place in the final eight. Moreover, Middlesbrough hasn’t played in an FA Cup quarter-final since the 2016-17 season, when they were defeated 2-0 by Manchester City, while their semi-final appearance under Steve McClaren in the 2005-06 season ended in heartbreak against West Ham United.
Whereas Chelsea’s win over the French champions was their fifth in a row – they had to come from behind twice to beat Luton Town 3-2 in the FA Cup fifth round – while Tuchel’s team has also defeated Chesterfield and Plymouth Argyle this season.
Chelsea and Middlesbrough haven’t met since the Blues won 3-0 at Stamford Bridge in the 2016-17 Premier League season, giving them their eighth win and eighth clean sheet in a row against the Championship side, who last won in this game in 2006 under Gareth Southgate.
Not only this but the hosts, who beat Chelsea’s local rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the fifth round earlier this month, are one of only two Championship clubs still in the competition. In the previous round of fixtures, the Blues defeated Luton Town 3-2 to set up a meeting with Middlesbrough. The visitors flew to Lille for a Champions League match on Wednesday and may be a little weary for this match.
Middlesbrough vs Chelsea team news
Middlesbrough team news
Andraz Sporar and James Lea-Siliki, who missed the previous league game due to injury, are doubtful for this match. In the previous game, Anfernee Dijksteel was reintroduced to the lineup, and he should start here.
Middlesbrough predicted line-up
Lumley; Dijksteel, Fry, McNair; Jones, Tavernier, Howson, Crooks, Taylor; Balogun, Connolly
Chelsea team news
Andreas Christensen was carried off the pitch in the Champions League game against Lille and is not anticipated to go to Middlesbrough. Ben Chilwell is a long-term absentee with a knee injury.
Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi are both undergoing late fitness tests ahead of the trip, and Thomas Tuchel is set to make some changes to his starting lineup from the game against Lille.
Chelsea predicted lineup
Kepa; Chalobah, Rudiger, Sarr; Ziyech, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Mount, Werner; Lukaku