Chelsea vs Middlesbrough – Carabao Cup: TV channel, team news, lineups and prediction

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By newsversepro.com

Chelsea host Middlesbrough in the decisive second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final tie on Tuesday night.

The Blues – and Cole Palmer in particular – squandered a glut of chances before Hayden Hackney coolly slotted the only goal of the first leg past Djordje Petrovic. While Middlesbrough are chasing after Championship promotion, Chelsea cannot afford to undervalue England’s secondary cup competition.

Mauricio Pochettino’s expensively assembled squad are languishing 12 points behind the Premier League’s top four and don’t have the wanted distraction of European football this term.

Ahead of another important cup tie against Aston Villa in the FA Cup fourth round next weekend, here’s everything you need to know about Chelsea’s attempts to reach the Carabao Cup final.

Chelsea vs Middlesbrough H2H record (Last Five Games)

Current form (all competitions)

Country

TV channel/live stream

United Kingdom

Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Football, SKY GO Extra, Sky Ultra HD

United States

ESPN+

Canada

DAZN Canada

Christopher Nkunku

Christopher Nkunku has impressed during his brief Chelsea career / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Christopher Nkunku’s Chelsea career has been limited to just 183 minutes. The latest fitness complaint to plague the ephemeral forward is a niggling hip problem that could keep him out until the end of January.

Fellow summer arrival Romeo Lavia has only been on the pitch for 33 minutes and is also a doubt with a thigh problem. Full-backs Marc Cucurella (ankle) and Reece James (hamstring) are expected to be sidelined until March while long-term absentee Wesley Fofana is nowhere near a return.

Goalkeeper Robert Sanchez is on the cusp of regaining full fitness – raising questions of whether Djordje Petrovic will retain his place in the future – and Trevoh Chalobah could feature in a matchday squad again this week.

Concerns linger over Lesley Ugochukwu’s strained hamstring while Nicolas Jackson is away with Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Chelsea predicted lineup vs Middlesbrough (4-2-3-1): Petrovic; Gusto, Silva, Disasi, Colwill; Caicedo, Fernandez; Madueke, Gallagher, Sterling; Palmer.

Emmanuel Latte Lath

Emmanuel Latte Lah limped off against Chelsea two weeks ago / George Wood/GettyImages

The first leg was barely five minutes old before Emmanuel Latte Lah was forced off with a hamstring injury. Middlesbrough‘s top scorer is expected to be out until February.

First-choice goalkeeper Seny Dieng faces a similar recovery trajectory on his way back from a hip problem while Alex Bangura is scheduled to return at the end of next month.

Captain Jonny Howson missed Boro’s 1-1 draw with Rotherham United on Saturday with a minor knock but Isaiah Jones dropped to the turf clutching his hamstring after just 20 minutes of the contest. The fleet-footed forward created Hackney’s winner against Chelsea two weeks ago and is a significant doubt for the reverse fixture on Tuesday.

Achilles tendon injuries have ensured that both Tommy Smith and Darragh Lenihan will play no part in the remainder of the campaign but Michael Carrick can call upon the in-demand Morgan Rogers once again after serving his suspension in the first leg.

Middlesbrough predicted lineup vs Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Glover; Van den Berg, Fry, Clark; Ayling, Barlaser, Howson, Engel; Rogers, Hackney; Forss.

After yet another wasteful display in front of goal at the Riverside Stadium, Pochettino sighed: “It’s happened enough.” While Chelsea certainly have the calibre of players to find the net, the team’s collective finishing has been desperately lacking.

“If you don’t score, it’s difficult to win,” Pochettino rightly pointed out. To advance to the Wembley final, Chelsea have to score at least twice.

The Blues have not lost a game at Stamford Bridge since Halloween and come up against a Championship team robbed of crucial players through injury. Chelsea are naturally the favourites but it would hardly be out of character for Pochettino’s side to stumble again.

Prediction: Chelsea 1-1 Middlesbrough

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