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We’ve got a repeat of the 1997 FA Cup final in this season’s quarter-final stages as Thomas Tuchel takes his Blues up north to Teeside to face Middlesbrough.
Middlesbrough have the scalps of Manchester United and Tottenham so far this campaign after a fantastic run in the cup and are eyeing their first semi-final since the 2006 glory years of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Mark Viduka and Fabio Rochemback.
With continued ownership turbulence off the field, Chelsea will be eager to let their football do the talking, whereas Middlesbrough’s cup run will be considered all but a bonus if they are able to sneak a promotion spot back to the Premier League.
This one should be tasty at the Riverside, so continue reading for our expert football betting tips for the clash.
Middlesbrough may have dumped Manchester United and Tottenham out of the FA Cup this season, but they’ve needed extra-time on both occasions.
That doesn’t necessarily dampen their huge success, but it’s worth considering with Boro coming up against such a wily and experienced side in the cup.
Chelsea’s FA Cup run is pretty ridiculous; they’ve reached the final in four of their last five seasons but can only lay claim to one trophy lift over that period.
Thomas Tuchel has managed to instil a spirit of ‘us against the world’ in the Chelsea camp at present and their ability to churn out results despite everything else that is going on is consistently impressive.
Chelsea have already beaten Plymouth Argyle and Palmeiras in extra-time in 2022 and we’re taking a punt on the Blues adding Middlesbrough to that list.
Middlesbrough’s home form at the Riverside has been nothing short of remarkable over the winter months.
Chris Wilder’s side have won every fixture at home since December 4th 2021 (if we are to take an extra-time win as a victory).
With the Riverside now a fortress, Middlesbrough won’t fear the visit of the European and World champions – they’ve failed to score just once at home in 19 matches on Teeside and will be confident in testing the Chelsea defence on Saturday.
Middlesbrough are still a potent striker short of a proper tilt at the Championship title and have often found themselves relying on the goals of midfielder Matt Crooks.
Since the decision to drop Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea’s starting eleven was made, the Blues have looked in dominant form over the past few weeks.
German forward Kai Havertz is a key reason for this success, scoring six in his last seven appearances in blue and is leading the line with confidence that is missing from his Belgian colleague’s game.
Chelsea have a defence that can always be relied on under Tuchel, but they’ve been a little leaky so far in the cup.
It took late goals from Lukaku and Timo Werner for Chelsea to squeeze past Luton Town in the last round, conceding twice at Kenilworth Road.
These sides haven’t met since 2017 – a 3-0 win for Chelsea that signified their eighth win on the spin over the Teesiders.
The Blues have won 56 of their 116 meetings, none more important than a 2-0 win in the 1997 FA Cup final.
That trophy set the ball rolling for the Blues, ending a trophy drought of well over two decades in west London.
The Riverside Stadium has been home to Middlesbrough since 1995 and has an official capacity of 34,742.
The stadium sits on the south bank of the River Tees, where the North Stand backs on to.
For sponsorship reasons the stadium has previous names of Cellnet Riverside Stadium, BT Cellnet Riverside Stadium and Captain James Cook Stadium.
Chelsea’s pedigree in this competition can’t be ignored.
The Blues have turned into serial winners under Thomas Tuchel’s leadership and a trip to the Riverside – no matter how kind the stadium is proving for the hosts – shouldn’t phase them.
Chelsea have lost just four of their last 38 away matches and should have enough squad depth to slip through to another FA Cup semi-final.
We’re not expecting this to be straight forward, with drama in extra-time the call.