After Tottenham’s defeat at West Ham, Chelsea have the chance to move to within a win of the Premier League crown.
They however face Middlesbrough, who MUST avoid a draw or loss to starve off relegation.
Antonio Conte could be without N’Golo Kante and David Luiz for this important fixture.
Middlesbrough are set to be without Daniel Ayala and Victor Valdes again. Gaston Ramirez could join them on the sidelines with a pelvic problem.
Ben Gibson could make his 200th appearance for Boro if he features at Stamford Bridge.
Defeat isn’t an option
For both sides, defeat isn’t am option here for different reasons.
Chelsea know that victory will mean that they can go to West Brom knowing that a win there, will regain them the title from Leicester.
Boro know that anything less than three points will seal their fate with two matches left in the season.
Conte’s side have been strong at home with just one defeat since September. The sole defeat came last month against Crystal Palace, who have gone on to reach near safety.
Steve Agnew will be hoping that his squad can repeat their home performance against Manchester City last weekend, away in London.
Unfortunately, Middlesbrough haven’t won away from the Riverside since their 2-1 win at Sunderland back in August.
No Hercules effort
As disappointing as it will be to see Middlesbrough go back down, this result belong to Chelsea due to too many factors in their favour.
The Londoners have won the last seven meetings in this fixture across all competitions, without conceding a single goal.
Given the fact that they are the top scorers and are strong in defence, there is no doubt that they can ease to a simple win here.
Throw in Boro’s awful record at Stamford Bridge having not won there in 42 years, it makes this prediction dead easy marring any unlikely Hercules effort here.
They have however started to show signs of life so will be tougher to break down early on. Come the half hour mark, expect the difference in quality to show as the pressure ramps up a notch.
The three points has Chelsea’s name written all over it here with minimum ease.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Middlesbrough
Result: Chelsea 3-0 Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough are RELEGATED!!!!!!!!