Middlesbrough will be looking to keep their remarkable FA Cup run going when they welcome world champions Chelsea to the Riverside this weekend.
Boro have already dumped Manchester United and Tottenham out of this season’s cup and will be full of confidence when they host Thomas Tuchel’s Blues.
Chelsea attempted to have this game played behind closed doors amid their issues surrounding the sanctions on Roman Abramovich.
That idea was swiftly thrown out and there will no doubt be a brilliant atmosphere at Riverside Stadium for this intriguing quarter-final clash.
These two have not met since Chelsea’s 3-0 Premier League win in May 2017 while we have to go back to August 2006 to find Boro’s last victory over the Blues.
But Chris Wilder’s men will be eager to pull off yet another cupset this weekend and reach the semi-finals of the historic tournament.
Middlesbrough v Chelsea: talkSPORT coverage
This FA Cup quarter-final will take place at Riverside Stadium on Saturday, March 19 and will kick off at 5:15pm.
The match will be live on talkSPORT and coverage will start at 5pm with Faye Carruthers.
Commentary will come from Sam Matterface and former QPR and Manchester City winger Trevor Sinclair.
To tune in to talkSPORT or talkSPORT 2, click HERE for the live stream.
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Middlesbrough v Chelsea: Team news
Boro ace James Lea Siliki is a doubt following a recent bout of illness.
Andraz Sporar will return to their squad after recovering from an illness of his own.
Riley McGree will not feature as he continues his recovery from a muscular problem.
Chelsea, meanwhile, will be missing Saul Niguez following a positive Covid test.
Andreas Christensen came off early again Lille in midweek is a doubt.
Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James will likely miss out again while Ben Chilwell is a long-term absentee.
Middlesbrough v Chelsea: What has been said?
Middlesbrough boss Chris Wilder has insisted Chelsea do not need sympathy as he prepares to send his side into FA Cup quarter-final battle with them.
He said: “Somebody comes into your football club, invests hundreds of millions of pounds and turns it into – it had history before – what it has turned into, serial trophy-winning teams, world-class managers, world-class players, world-class infrastructure, a women’s team that wins everything, and youth team and an academy that’s the best in the country, that wins the Youth Cup.
“It will go up for sale and it will be bought by a billionaire, who will possibly invest more money into it, they’ll possibly invest in the stadium, invest in the facilities, so I don’t think there’s, in the football world, an incredible amount of sympathy over what’s happening, really, and I don’t think Chelsea supporters would expect that as well.
“It will be a sort period before the takeover and Chelsea will go again and they’ll go on from strength to strength.”
European and world club champions Chelsea are currently operating under a special licence which limits what they can spend, sparking suggestions they might not be able to pay for their usual travel arrangements for an away fixture.
However Wilder, who praised manager Thomas Tuchel’s handling of the situation, insisted that will not be a problem.
He said: “They won’t make a long coach trip. They’ll be looking down the back of the settee this afternoon to see if they can find a couple of quid – I usually look at the golf bag, that’s where I keep a couple of quid just to keep it away from people – and chuck it into a pot to get up on the plane.
“They’ll be up here, they’ll be alright. There’s not a lot of sympathy from my point of view towards Thomas and their players.
“I’m sure their preparation will be absolutely spot-on.”
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