Premier League Preview and Prediction: Middlesbrough vs Chelsea

Competition: Premier League – Chelsea vs. Everton

Venue: Riverside Stadium – Sunday, November 20 – 16:00 GMT (11:00 ET) 

Match Odds: Middlesbrough 5/1 – Draw 29/10 – Chelsea 4/7 

Match Preview

Middlesbrough welcome Chelsea to the Riverside Stadium on Sunday afternoon in what has the makings of a game that could throw up a surprise result.

Before the international break, Boro had been enjoying a solid run of form, picking up six points from five games, including impressive draws against Arsenal and City.

Aitor Karanka knows his side have the capability of upsetting anyone this season. Middlesbrough are sitting 15th in the Premier League and are giving a good account of themselves on their return to the top flight.

Worryingly for Boro, they have not managed a positive result against Chelsea in their last six attempts, losing all of those games, what a time this would be to bring that run to an end.

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Chelsea were flying as they headed into the international break. Antonio Conte has seen his side win every league game (5) since switching to 3-4-3. Their 5-0 demolition of Everton last time out sent out a message to the rest of the title chasing sides.

The Blues haven’t conceded in those fives games and are now sitting second in the league. They will be seeing this as an opportunity to make it six wins in a row.

If history is anything to go by, this should be a routine win for Chelsea, not only have they won their last six in a row against Middlesbrough, they have also kept a clean sheet in all of those games.

The Chelsea squad has been hit by a few injuries in the last few weeks, which only heightens the importance of depth, something they have in abundance.

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Team News

Middlesbrough could be without three for the visit of Chelsea as James Husband, George Friend and Daniel Ayala are all doubts.

Chelsea’s main concern will be over the fitness of their two most important players this season, Diego Costa and Eden Hazard, who both returned from the international carrying knocks. Conte will still be expecting to be without Kurt Zouma, Cesc Fabregas and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Key Points

Middlesbrough’s last five: D/L/D/W/D

Chelsea’s last five: W/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: Chelsea have won their last six games against Middlesbrough in all competitions.

Key Player: Pedro – The Chelsea winger has been completely revitalised under Conte. He is playing with the confidence that resulted in his move to the West Londoners. Pedro’s energy and ability to provide both goals and assists has caused trouble for opposition defenders this season and he will be looking to play a key role this weekend.

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Score Prediction

Middlesbrough 0-2 Chelsea – Boro to come unstuck against a Chelsea side who are expected to take all three points here. The Blues have shown a real togetherness under Conte and are relishing playing in the 3-4-3. Middlesbrough will be able to cause Chelsea problems, but given their defensive strength and energy in the side, they’d be forgiven for falling short here.

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Middlesbrough vs Watford

Competition: Premier League – Middlesbrough vs. Watford

Venue: Riverside Stadium – Sunday, October 16 – 13:30 BST (08:30 ET) 

Match Odds: Middlesbrough 6/5 – Draw 11/5 – Watford 12/5

Match Preview

Middlesbrough welcome Watford to the Riverside on Sunday afternoon in a tie between two sides who will be desperate to pick up three points.

Boro are sitting in 16th, just two points above the bottom three. Although it is still early into the Premier League season, they will need to start picking up points consistently to put some distance between themselves and the relegation places.

The North-East club have had an inconsistent return to the league, they’ve won just once and have only picked up two points from their last five games.

Aitor Karanka’s side come into this one having drawn away at West Ham, a win in this one would do their confidence the world of good as normal service resumes after the international break.

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Watford have had a solid start to the season. However, their back-to-back wins against West Ham and United will soon quickly seem a long time ago if their winless run extends to three here.

Walter Mazzari’s side come into this one having drawn 2-2 with Bournemouth. A win here is a possible result and would take them to 11 points from eight games.

Watford could make their way into the top ten with a win and they have a great record against Boro coming into the tie as they’re undefeated in five.

The Hornets have been involved in some high scoring games of late, their last five games have produced 18 goals.

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Team News

Middlesbrough have three injury concerns heading into this one as Grant Leadbitter, James Husband and Fabio are all expected to miss out.

Watford could be without as many as six ahead of this one as Jerome Sinclair, Stefano Okaka and Daryl Janmaat are all expected to be out, while Craig Cathcart, Miguel Britos and Valon Behrami are all doubts.

Key Points

Middlesbrough’s last five: D/L/L/L/D

Watford’s last five: L/W/W/L/D

Key Stat: Watford are unbeaten in their last five games against Middlesbrough in all competitions.

Key Player: Troy Deeney – The Watford forward has netted three times this season. He will be looking to add to his tally this weekend and get on a strong run of form.

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Score Prediction

Middlesbrough 1-2 Watford – Another high-scoring game for Watford where they take all three points away from home. Middlesbrough will cause most of their opponents problems at home this season but as Watford have already proved in their opening seven games, they’re capable of winning on the road.