May 8, 2017
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Chelsea vs Middlesbrough: Premier League match preview, likely line-ups and score prediction

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Chelsea will get the chance to move within one game of the Premier League title when they host relegation-bound Middlesbrough at Stamford Bridge on Monday night.

After Tottenham slipped up against West Ham on Friday night, Antonio Conte’s side know that they only need six points from their last four league matches to secure their first title for two years.

At the other end of the table, Middlesbrough need the victory to keep up the chase on relegation rivals Swansea, who recorded a well deserved victory over Everton on Saturday.

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Despite losing two of their last six games to give Tottenham a sniff of the Premier League title, back-to-back wins over Southampton and Everton have eased the nerves around Stamford Bridge.

The 3-0 win at Goodison Park last weekend was nothing short of impressive either, completely dismantling Ronald Koeman’s men, and with 42 points picked up at home this season from a possible 48 so far it looks a safe bet to say that the Blues will be set to pick up another home victory.

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Middlesbrough finally secured their first win of 2017 at the 16th attempt against Sunderland a fortnight ago, and nearly followed it up in an agonising 2-2 draw with Manchester City.

They’ve struggled on the road this season, however, not winning a match away from the Riverside since the opening day of the season – a run of 16 matches that has included nine defeats.

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Antonie Conte is reportedly sweating on the fitness of both David Luiz and PFA player of the year N’Golo Kante ahead of Monday’s clash, and will assess both last minute.

If so, Nathan Ake and Cesc Fabregas are the likely candidates to come into the side, but aside from that the Chelsea boss has a full squad at his disposal and should remain unchanged from last week.

For the visitors, Victor Valdes and defender Daniel Ayala will still miss out through respective injuries whilst Gaston Ramirez is set to remain on the side-lines despite returning from suspension.

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Predicted Line-Ups

Match Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Middlesbrough

With Chelsea flying at the top of the table and Middlesbrough desperately grappling for survival at the bottom of the table, it promises to be a high-energy encounter at Stamford Bridge on Monday.

The Blues already know that they could win the title before Tottenham even play again with victories over Boro and West Brom, and expect Antonio Conte to push his side to gain another crucial victory.

Following Swansea’s victory over Everton on Saturday, Boro will know that anything less than three points will see them all-but relegated, and if that’s the case then they’ll leave nothing behind on the pitch.

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Yet Chelsea’s dismantling of a strong Everton side last weekend shows how determined this squad is, and with just four Premier League games left they’ll do everything they can to record another win.

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