Chelsea come back from the international break looking to keep their impressive run of five straight Premier League wins. Conte’s boys face a trip to Riverside Stadium on Sunday to take on Aitor Karanka’s newly-promoted Middlesbrough. Chelsea had won all their five games before the international break and will be looking to experience a similar form after the disruption caused by the break. Conte’s 3-4-3 system has worked wonders for Chelsea as the Blues not only won all their last five games but conceded a total of zero goals in the process.
Conte cannot afford to take Boro lightly though as the Teesside club have shown that they have what it takes to stun the bigger sides. The Smoggies came back from the Emirates and the Etihad with crucial away points and will be all fired up to stun the Blues. 2nd placed Chelsea vs 15th placed Boro- might not look like a close contest on paper but could prove to be a tough one for Chelsea.
Here is the predicted Chelsea lineup against Middlesbrough.
Belgian custodian Thibaut Courtois’ form earlier this season was a bit below-par but he has picked up his game of late. The 24-year-old will keep his place under the bar. Chelsea’s back-three has looked impenetrable in recent weeks. Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz and Gary Cahill will keep their respective places in the three-man defence.
Azpilicueta will start on the right-hand side, Luiz in the middle while Cahill will start on the left. Both John Terry and Kurt Zouma are fit now but there is no place for them right now unless the current back-three falters.
N’Golo Kante’s transfer to Chelsea was always going to be a massive hit and it has been so. The Frenchman has been an absolute beast in midfield for the Blues and will keep his place. Nemanja Matic has been impressive this season and is enjoying the license of going forward under Conte. The Serbian has five assists to his name this season which is impressive for a player of his style. The Serbian powerhouse will keep his place alongside Kanté. Victor Moses and Marcus Alonso are likely to start in the wing-back positions.
Eden Hazard is a minor doubt for the game having picked up an injury while on international duty but should be fit enough to start on the left flank. In-form Pedro will start on the right while Premier League top scorer Diego Costa is likely to spearhead the attack.