Middlesbrough v Chelsea Carabao Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg Preview
Boro held out for 87 minutes against Villa before falling to a deflected winner – their third defeat in four matches - but it was a good run-out against higher opposition and now they face Chelsea, with whom they have some proper rivalry in the cups and beyond. From Di Matteo’s super-early winner at Wembley in ’97 to the Boro relegating Chelsea in one of the first editions of the playoffs back in the 80s. Chelsea won their last meeting in the FA Cup in 2022, but it’s the Zenith Data Systems Cup win in 1990 that the Blues covet the most.
Chelsea struggled early on against Preston in the FA Cup at the weekend before hitting 4 in the second half. This is the Blues’ first away game in the Carabao Cup this season and that is my only worry with the Blues hitting form but only at home. They’ve conceded 12 goals in their last 5 away games.
Saying that I can’t see a depleted Boro being able to go again so soon. But Chelsea are also depleted. It may be a close one but a Chelsea win to nil should do the trick for them and make the second leg a lot simpler.
I’m going 2-0 Chelsea at 15/2 Cole Palmer is back and 13/2 for 1st goal.
Palmer anytime in a 2-0 Chelsea win is 22/1