Chelsea vs Middlesbrough

, KO: 20:00 Jan 23, 2024, Stamford Bridge

CHELSEA have work to do if they are to reach the Carabao Cup Final as they try to overturn a first leg deficit on Tuesday's semi-final return against Middlesbrough.

The capital club appear to still be in some kind of transitional stage after another damp squib of a season where they sit in a miserable ninth place – a scandalously poor return for the estimated £435 million they spent in the summer to try and regain their place at the top.

Previously, the League Cup would have been low priority for a club like Chelsea, but they would bite your hand off for the trophy to at least show there are signs of progress under Mauricio Pochettino.

They will be kicking themselves they trail 1-0 after the first leg at the Riverside where they passed up chance after chance – they had 12 shots off target and five on on Teesside.

But they had a nice weekend off and anything less than a resounding win will be a major upset for them.

Boro limped to a 1-1 home draw with Rotherham United with their play-off hopes suffering a setback. They are 11th, but only three points off those play-off places, such is the nature of the Championship.

How the bookies view it

You would need to have deep pockets to steam in at Chelsea's 2/7 with Coral to make it worthwhile and they are as short as 2/11 elsewhere.

Middlesbrough can be backed at 10/1, also with Coral, with the draw 11/2 with Paddy Power.

Recent head to heads

Boro won the first leg 1-0 a couple of weeks ago to end a nine-game winning streak for Chelsea. The visitors last won at Stamford Bridge in 1975 when Ron ‘Chopper' Harris was playing for the hosts.

Players to watch

Cole Palmer missed three sitters in the first leg, but responded well by scoring the only goal in his next game in a win against Fulham. He will get more chances on Tuesday and is 6/4 to net anytime with Paddy Power.

Hayden Hackney was a Scotland Under 21s international before switching allegiances back to England. The midfielder netted the only goal of the game at the Riverside and is 13/1 with UniBet to repeat that in London.

Anything else catch the eye?

It's hard to see Chelsea being as wasteful as they were in the first leg and despite their many problems this season, they should be too strong for Boro, who have also have injury concerns over key men Jonny Howson and Isaiah Jones.

You would expect the Blues to come racing out the block and the call is Chelsea to win half time and full time at 20/23 with Coral.

They can also keep a clean sheet as they did in their last game against Fulham. Back Chelsea to win to nil at 5/4 with 10bet.

This match between Chelsea and Middlesbrough will be played on Jan 23, 2024 and kick off at 20:00. Check below for our tipsters best Chelsea vs Middlesbrough prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.

Chelsea vs Middlesbrough Betting Tips & Predictions
Chelsea half time/fiull time
Chelsea to win to nil
Cole Palmer to score anytime

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