Kick Off: Sunday, November 20, 2016. 16:00 GMT
Venue: Riverside Stadium
We are back from international football, and for Chelsea, our first test is an away trip to Middlesbrough.
Prior to yesterday’s games, Chelsea were 2nd on the table with 25 points, with just one point separating us from league leaders Liverpool. While Middlesbrough were 15th with 11 points.
For many, this game poses a lot of threats for Chelsea, because Middlesbrough have made Arsenal and Manchester City to drop points this season. In the last round of Premier League matches, they forced City to a 1-1 draw, while they held Arsenal to a goalless draw two games before that. But Chelsea’s form in the last 5 games should cause Boro and Karanka many worries.
Newly promoted Middlesbrough have been away from the Premier League since 2007/2008 season, and in their last season in the league, Chelsea won them 1-0 at home, and 2-0 away from home.
Riverside hasn’t always been a good ground for Chelsea, as Boro defeated Chelsea 3-0 in 2005/2006 season, and surprisingly inflicted another 2-1 defeat on Chelsea the following season.
Other than those two victories, from a stretch of 1998 to 2005, Chelsea only lost once to Boro (albeit at the Riverside) in December 2000, and the other games were mostly wins for Chelsea (W 9, D 5)
It would interest you to know that Middlesbrough have lost their last six games in all competitions to Chelsea, failing to score in each match.
The Blues have only suffered two defeats in their last 17 Premier League matches against Boro (W12, D3), with both defeats coming in 2006.
While Middlesbrough are unbeaten in their last three matches, 1 win and 2 draws, Chelsea have won five league games in a row, scoring 16 goals without conceding.
Chelsea have kept five consecutive Premier League clean sheets for the first time since a six-match streak in 2010.
My prediction: Boro will try to play it tight at the back, but Chelsea’s attacking force will definitely penetrate Boro defensive tactics. Middlesbrough 0 v 2 Chelsea