Chelsea v Middlesbrough
20:00 - 8/5/2017 - Stamford Bridge, West London
By the time this kicks-off Chelsea’s lead may have cut to one point with Spurs playing on Friday night, but Conte’s men still hold all the cards after their victory at Everton on Sunday, which looked their toughest fixture in the run-in by some distance. Meanwhile for Middlesbrough, if Hull avoid defeat at home to Sunderland then a loss here would confirm their immediate relegation to the Championship.
Chelsea’s victory at Goodison was their first league clean sheet in 12, but while their defence has shown cracks their attack has flourished, especially at the Bridge. They’re averaging 2.8 goals per game in their last eight there and as a result half have had at least four strikes. They lost to Palace recently but apart from that blip they’ve won their remaining six encounters when hosting bottom-half clubs, finding the net at least three times in four of these.
Boro have certainly improved under Steve Agnew but it all looks too little too late. They’ve shown more attacking intent, netting in each of their three clashes with top-six clubs, while half of the eight matches have seen four or more strikes. They’ll need to play with some attacking intent here if they are to survive another week and while they might score it could leave them exposed to likes of Hazard and Costa at the other end. We’re backing Chelsea to win a high-scoring affair.
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