Middlesbrough vs. Chelsea Predictions: Expect a tight affair in this hotly contested FA Cup clash
Middlesbrough vs. Chelsea Odds
Chelsea face a trip to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup, and the lead up to the game has been anything but smooth for the visitors. Chelsea have been unable to sell tickets for their fans to attend the game and their request for the game to be played behind closed doors earlier in the week certainly raised some eyebrows.
Middlesbrough vs. Chelsea Tips
Despite the uncertainty off the pitch, it’s been business as usual for Tuchel and his men on the pitch. The team travelled to Lille midweek and secured safe passage to the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a 2-1 victory. The team's travel arrangements with the sanctions imposed by the UK government have been much speculated. The team’s spending on travel is capped under these restrictions and they will now face a long coach journey to Middlesbrough (not the short plane journey they normally would have taken) for this cup tie.
Middlesbrough have earned their place at this stage in the competition with some thoroughly impressive performances of their own. They have dispatched both Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur to get this far, so only a fool would write off their chances completely here.
Boro and their supporters will be chomping at the bit to get going here, and this should see the team flying into the tackles from the very start in this match. Chelsea angered the chairman and the supporters by requesting that the game be played behind closed doors, so now they will be looking to make that home backing count.
Middlesbrough are averaging just over 14 tackles per game in their last 10 matches in all competitions and the team made 15 tackles in their FA Cup tie with Man United, and 20 in the tie with Tottenham (excluding the tackles made in extra time).
Chelsea will no doubt have chances of their own and I expect them to rack up some shots here. Tuchel’s side are averaging over 19 shots per game in their 10 matches in the domestic cup competitions this season, and Boro opponents across their 4 domestic cup matches are averaging over 17 per game. In their last 10 matches in all competitions, Chelsea are averaging just under 14 shots per game. Boro opponents are averaging over 8 shots per game in their last 10 matches in all competitions, but Chelsea represent a big step up in the class of opponent.
Chelsea are averaging over 5 goal kicks per game in their last 10 matches, they have only had less than 5 in 2 of those matches; 4 against Spurs and 2 against Plymouth. Luton forced 6 Chelsea goal kicks in the last round and I expect Boro to be direct here.
For the longshot I’ve increased the goal kick line for Chelsea and the tackle line for Boro from the earlier bet, so this part needs little justification. However, as previously mentioned, I expect the home side to have a real good go of this. The bet fell 1 goal kick short when Boro took on Spurs and it also fell 1 goal kick short when Chelsea took on Luton in the last round. Luton managed a staggering 26 tackles in that game.
P/L 2022 +5.1
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