Chelsea v Middlesbrough Betting Tips: Another low-key affair for this pair
Football writer Thomas Giles reviews the upcoming Premier League match between Chelsea and Middlesbrough.
After Tottenham’s slip-up against West Ham United on Friday night, this match gives Chelsea the chance to once again stretch their lead at the top of the table to seven points. For Middlesbrough, with just two games to go after this one and a gap of seven points between themselves and safety, this is certainly a must-not-lose and probably a must-win.
Whilst Tottenham put up a valiant fight, the Premier League title race is all but over now with Chelsea on such good form at the top of the table having won four of their last five league games.
Antonio Conte has been praised for making Chelsea difficult to beat with their defensive record of just 29 goals against and 14 clean sheets in 34 games being very admirable. However, one thing that has gone very much under the radar has been their form in front of goal. Conte’s men have scored seven goals in their last two games and are currently the league’s top scorers with 72 goals.
Apart from a blip against Crystal Palace a month ago, the Blues’ home form has been fantastic with 12 wins in their last 13 matches. Additionally, Chelsea have scored in every single home match in all competitions this campaign. However, it must also be noted that they have conceded in each of their last five league matches at Stamford Bridge.
Middlesbrough may have gone undefeated in their last two matches, however, there is still a huge gap between themselves and safety and, even if they win at Chelsea on Monday night, it still looks like a tall order to stay up.
Goals have been a huge problem for Boro this season and they are the league’s lowest scorers with a pathetic 26 in 35 matches. However, Steve Agnew’s side have been better at finding the back of the net recently with three in their last two. Defensively, Middlesbrough have been solid with just 45 goals conceded and a clean sheet ratio of 31%. However, the fact they struggle to score means wins have been hard to come by.
Boro’s last two matches, in which they avoided defeat, both came at home. Unfortunately for them though, their away record is woeful with no win in all competitions since August 2016. They have also scored just ten goals in 17 games away from the Riverside this campaign. Going to Chelsea is hardly the ideal match to improve this record.
Although the pressure is on Chelsea here, I expect them to come out on top relatively comfortably. However, with Boro’s defence being generally quite solid, and the fact that they’ll look to get men behind the ball, conceding just four goals in four away matches against top six sides, I doubt this will be a goal-fest. ‘2-3 Total Goals’ is worth a go at 5/4 as it allows flexibility on the result.
This week’s Champions League tips can be found here.
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