Chelsea v Middlesbrough
Monday 8 May, 20:00
Live on Sky Sports 1


Following Tottenham's surprise loss at West Ham on Friday night it's now just a matter of when, and not if, Chelsea are crowned Premier League champions.

The Blues are four points clear of Spurs with a game in hand meaning that Antonio Conte's men can actually lift the trophy before the Lilywhites next step onto a football pitch. For that to happen Chelsea must beat Middlesbrough in this game and then win against West Brom on Friday night.

Conte's men go into this match in great form - much as they have been all season - following 10 wins in their last 12 league and cup games, and last week at Everton they arguably produced one of their best performances of the campaign in winning 3-0, recording their first clean sheet in the league since January.

Thibaut Courtois (ankle), David Luiz (groin), and N'Golo Kante (thigh) are all expected to shake off minor injuries meaning Conte will have a fully fit squad to choose from.


Swansea's victory over Everton on Saturday evening means that should Middlesbrough fail to win at Stamford Bridge on Monday night then the Teesside club will almost certainly make an immediate return back to the Championship.

Middlesbrough haven't won at Stamford Bridge since 1975! They haven't scored a goal at Stamford Bridge since 2001, in which time they've played over 720 minutes of football.

Steve Agnew's men have at least picked up some points of late thanks to a home win over now relegated Sunderland and a well-deserved 2-2 draw with Manchester City. However, Boro haven't won anywhere on the road since the second game of the season, since playing 17 games with a return of seven draws and 10 defeats.

Victor Valdes and Gaston Ramirez remain sidelined whileGrant Leadbitter (hamstring) and Daniel Ayala (ankle) are considered doubts with their respective injures.

Match Odds

Predictably Chelsea are trading at very short odds, 1.18, to take all three points on Monday night and the only surprise here is that they're not a tad shorter.

After a period of unconvincing form, in which they lost a home to Crystal Palace and away to Manchester United, the Blues appear to have found another gear of late, perhaps because of the excellent title challenge Tottenham were throwing down. Conte's men have scored 11 times in winning their last three games, and as mentioned earlier they were superb in beating Everton last weekend.

Now that Tottenham's title challenge is all but over there is a tiny chance that a bit of complacency might creep in, but don't count on it, there' still a job to be done and on paper this game represents one of Chelsea's easiest tasks of the season.

Middlesbrough need a win to keep their tiny survival hopes alive, but they haven't won at the Bridge for 42 years, they haven't scored a goal there in any of their last eight visits, they're without a win on the road in 17 matches, and their last 10 away games have resulted in just two points accumulated from a possible 30.

You can back Agnew's men at 20.00. Good luck if you do! The Draw can be backed at 9.60 and even at those odds that option makes no appeal.

Over/Under 2.5 Goals

Over 2.5 Goals is another short price favourite in this market - available to back at 1.54 - and unless you believe that Middlesbrough can keep the score down then there's potentially more opportunity to profit from a high-scoring game elsewhere given that it will be Chelsea who will be doing most, or all, of the goalscoring.

Under 2.5 Goals can be backed at 2.64 but given that Boro have conceded eight goals in their last two away defeats at Hull and Bournemouth then I'd be very surprised if they can prevent a full strength Chelsea team from scoring three or four, if not more.

Correct Score

In their last three games Chelsea scored four past Tottenham, four past Southampton, and three away at Everton, all three of those teams are in a different league - quite literally when the final whistle blows on Monday night - to Middlesbrough, so in theory this should be a stroll.

Boro's last two away games resulted in a 4-2 defeat at Hull and a 4-0 loss at Bournemouth. I predicted high-scoring affairs in both of those games because of the Teesside club's need for a win, and I see no reason why a similar outcome won't happen against Chelsea.

My fear for Middlesbrough is - similar to Crystal Palace at Man City on Saturday - that if they concede an early goal, and Chelsea are at their best, then their heads could easily drop and a thrashing will be on the cards.

Scorelines of 4-0 (9.60) and 5-0 (17.00) have to come into consideration if you fancy a very easy home win, but we can wager on such an outcome by backing Any Other Home Win at 3.30 in this market.

True, the odds are a lot shorter than a successful Correct Score punt, but this option covers any Chelsea victory as long as they score at least four goals, meaning we get any Boro goals onside also.

Recommended Bet

Back Any Other Home Win @ 3.30 in Correct Score market

0 nhận xét Blogger 0 Facebook

Post a Comment