Can Middlesbrough add another high-profile FA Cup victim to their list?
Middlesbrough have made a name for themselves in the FA Cup this season after stunning Manchester United in the fourth round, and then latterly Tottenham. Chelsea will be making the trip to Riverside on Saturday evening, and Thomas Tuchel’s men will be hoping to avoid the ignominy of a Cup upset.
There is plenty of history between these two sides, and who could forget Chelsea’s 2-0 victory over their Championship opponents back in 1997 at Wembley in the FA Cup Final.
A lot has happened since then, and this weekend will mark their first clash in almost five years.
Freebets has all bases covered, and we have three tasty tips for you to feast on ahead of this quarter-final showdown.
Kai Havertz to break the deadlock
Kai Havertz has sprung into life this season, and he has proved his worth in a more advanced attacking role, relegating Romelu Lukaku to the bench. The German maestro has been in exceptional form, netting in each of his past three matches, and he has scored 13 times for club and country.
Havertz has a knack for picking up pockets of space in threatening positions, and he will pose a significant threat to Middlesbrough. And should Havertz start, you can get a short looking price of 9/2 with bet365 for him to break the deadlock.
Middlesbrough to be up at the break
For Middlesbrough, they have the twin challenge of trying to continue a deep run in the FA Cup, while at the same time, not hurt their chances of reaching the play-offs come May. Anyway, against United and Tottenham, they had to withstand some pressure, but they still managed to create chances.
To a certain extent, Middlesbrough have nothing to lose, so they could be more relaxed which means that they could be a dangerous prospect. Nevertheless, if you fancy Middlesbrough to be leading going into the break, then you can back them at a rather long looking 5/1 with Unibet to be ahead at the interval.
Level pegging at full-time
Since replays were abandoned, there has been an added spice of extra-time, and if the two teams can’t be split, then perhaps penalties. Chelsea had a scare in the fourth round against Plymouth when they were taken to extra time at Stamford Bridge last month.
A Marcos Alonso strike spared the Blues’ blushes, and they will want to finish off the job quickly. With all the drama that has happened off the pitch recently, the west London outfit will be looking for some joy on it. However, Paddy Power is dangling the metaphorical carrot or rather serving up a tempting price of 7/2 for the game to be a draw at full-time.