Carabao Cup Semi-Final Showdown: Chelsea vs Middlesbrough at Stamford Bridge

The Carabao Cup semi-finals are heating up with a highly anticipated second leg clash at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea faces a resilient Middlesbrough team. The first leg saw Middlesbrough pull off an unexpected 1-0 victory, setting the stage for an enthralling encounter in London.

Chelsea’s Challenge and Pochettino’s Tactics

Under Mauricio Pochettino’s leadership, Chelsea is preparing for a critical comeback. Despite numerous injuries, Pochettino is expected to assemble a robust lineup. Notably absent will be Christopher Nkunku, sidelined due to a hip issue, and Trevoh Chalobah, not yet fit to play. Other absentees include Malo Gusto, Marc Cucurella, Robert Sanchez, Reece James, Wesley Fofana, Lesley Ugochukwu, and Romeo Lavia, all out with injuries. Cesare Casadei is also unavailable, being cup-tied with Leicester.

Expected Chelsea Lineup

Chelsea’s predicted formation is a 4-2-3-1, featuring Djordje Petrovic as the goalkeeper. The defense line includes Benoit Badiashile, Axel Disasi, Thiago Silva, and Levi Colwill. The midfield trio of Conor Gallagher, Moises Caicedo, and Enzo Fernandez will be crucial, supporting a front three of Cole Palmer, Raheem Sterling, and Armando Broja. Additionally, Noni Madueke and Mykhailo Mudryk are available options for Pochettino.

Chelsea’s Historical Context and Middlesbrough’s Aspiration

Chelsea’s history in the Carabao Cup has seen its highs and lows, including a notable semi-final exit against Sheffield Wednesday in the early ’90s. However, their recent record at Stamford Bridge, particularly against lower-tier teams, has been impressive, winning 15 of their last 16 ties. This fortitude will be crucial as they aim to overturn the first-leg deficit.

Middlesbrough, meanwhile, is looking to make history by becoming the first lower-division team to defeat a Premier League side in a Carabao Cup semi-final since 2013, adding an extra layer of excitement to the match.


This semi-final presents a classic David vs Goliath scenario, set against the backdrop of Stamford Bridge’s storied history. For Chelsea, it’s a chance to demonstrate resilience and tactical acumen under Pochettino, while Middlesbrough eyes a historic upset. Football fans can expect a night of high drama and intense football as both teams battle it out for a spot in the Carabao Cup final.