Premier League • England

Predicted Chelsea team for trip to Middlesbrough: Make or break tie for Chelsea flop

Romelu Lukaku, Chelsea, February 2022.

Despite being usurped in the starting line-up, the predicted Chelsea team to face Middlesbrough could see Romelu Lukaku given an opportunity to impress.

Chelsea have embarked on a stellar run of form of late. Indeed, they have won each of their last five fixtures in all competitions.

Last game, Chelsea won 2-1 away at Lille to advance to the next round of the Champions League. The quarter final draw in full can be found here.

Before that, they won three Premier League games on the spin. The Blues beat Burnley, Norwich City and Newcastle United in successive games.

The last FA Cup tie saw them down Luton Town 3-2. Tuchel mentioned a few stars who could be doubts ahead of the Middlesbrough tie in his pre-match press conference.

“Reece [James], Callum [Hudson-Odoi] and Andreas Christensen are uncertain. They are in training but weren’t in full training. It will be a tight race but maybe too close,” said Tuchel.

This game should also give Lukaku a chance to show his class. He started the last FA Cup tie, but Kai Havertz has been preferred in the striker role in other competitions.

Last time out – Lille 1-2 Chelsea

Edouard Mendy started in net. The three central defenders were Antonio Rudiger, Thiago Silva and Christensen, who was forced off in the first half.

The wing-back positions were occupied by Marcos Alonso and the scorer of the winner – Cesar Azpilicueta.

Chelsea have 100 interested bidders to buy the club

Chelsea have 100 interested bidders to buy the club

Chelsea Football Club have 100 interested bidders with Americans and Saudis the favourites

The midfield trio was Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho and N’Golo Kante.

The two forward positions were occupied by Christian Pulisic and Havertz.

Predicted Chelsea team against Middlesbrough

Tuchel could ring the changes, given he has a near-full compliment available to him to face the Championship opposition.

Kepa Arrizabalaga could start in goal given he is the designated cup keeper. Trevoh Chalobah, Antonio Rudiger and Malang Sarr could form the back three.

Saul Niguez and Azpilicueta could play in the wing-back positions. The midfield may see Kovacic play alongside Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

The front three could see Ziyech return to the starting line-up to link up with Timo Werner and Lukaku, who will be desperate to get back into form.

Predicted Leeds XI: Kepa; Chalobah, Rudiger, Sarr; Azpilicueta, Kovacic, Loftus-Cheek, Saul; Ziyech, Lukaku, Werner

READ MORE: Liverpool and Man City to cruise through, but CL pundits wage fierce Chelsea, Real Madrid debate