Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder has claimed that Chelsea do not want pity as his team prepares to face them in the FA Cup quarter-finals.
The Blues have been rocked by the sanctions imposed on owner Roman Abramovich in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and they face each other at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday evening.
At Middlesbrough, Chelsea is anticipating 670 fans.
Only 670 people are expected to attend Chelsea’s FA Cup quarter-final against Middlesbrough on Saturday night.
The 670 tickets were purchased before the club’s owner, Roman Abramovich, was sanctioned last Thursday. The away end has been modified to accommodate more home spectators, as there are only 670 of them. Middlesbrough added 3,200 tickets to the sale on Wednesday, and the game is already sold out.
Middlesbrough has also declared on their website that a portion of the gate receipts from the game would be donated to humanitarian help in Ukraine. This is expected to be in the region of £300,000.
Wilder said at his pre-game press conference on Friday morning: “Someone invests hundreds of millions of pounds in your football club and transforms it into – it already had a history – serial trophy-winning teams, world-class managers, world-class players, world-class infrastructure, a women’s team that wins everything, and a youth team and academy that is the best in the country, winning the Youth Cup.”
“It will be put up for sale, and it will be purchased by a billionaire who will possibly invest more money in it, possibly in the stadium, possibly in the facilities, so I don’t think there is a lot of sympathy in the football world for what’s going on, and I don’t think Chelsea supporters would expect that either.
“There will be a transition phase before the takeover, and Chelsea will go from strength to strength.”
Chris Wilder will welcome striker Andraz Sporar back into the Middlesbrough squad for Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final match against Premier League Chelsea.
Sporar has been out of the Sky Bet Championship club’s last two games due to illness, but he is now available.
James Lea Siliki, a midfielder who has also been out recently due to illness, will join him in the squad.
Anfernee Dijksteel, who returned from illness in Tuesday night’s 2-0 win against Birmingham, has showed no ill effects, but Riley McGree and Martin Payero are still out.
Reece James, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Andreas Christensen are all in a race against the clock to make the Chelsea squad. Hudson-Odoi is dealing with an Achilles problem, while England full-back James is dealing with a leg muscle problem.
With a muscular injury, Christensen limped out of Wednesday’s Champions League win over Lille. And now it’s a “tight sprint” for all three players to be ready for the Blues’ FA Cup quarter-final trip.
Middlesbrough has lost each of their last eight matches against Chelsea in all competitions without scoring a single goal since recording back-to-back Premier League victories over the Blues in February and August 2006.
Chelsea are only on a longer winning streak in all competitions against Crystal Palace (9) and Bolton Wanderers (10) than they are against Middlesbrough (8), with the Blues scoring 19 goals without conceding during this period.
Chelsea has won three of the previous four FA Cup meetings with Middlesbrough, with the exception being a third-round loss in 1993. Middlesbrough, playing in their first and only FA Cup final, were defeated 2-0 at Wembley in 1997, due to goals from Roberto Di Matteo and Eddie Newton.
Middlesbrough is playing in their first FA Cup quarter-final since losing 2-0 at home to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in 2016-17. Since reaching the semi-finals in 2005-06 under Steve McClaren, they’ve been ousted at this level on each of the last four occasions they’ve reached the final eight.
Middlesbrough advanced to the quarter-finals by defeating Manchester United on penalties and Tottenham Hotspur in extra time. This is the first time they’ve knocked out multiple top-flight clubs in the same FA Cup season when playing outside of their league since 1991-92 (Sheffield Wednesday and Manchester City), with Wigan the most recent team to accomplish so three times in 2017-18.
Chelsea has progressed from 15 of their last 19 FA Cup quarter-final matches, with only Everton (26), Manchester United (30), and Arsenal (30) having reached the final four more times in the competition’s history (25 times).
As both PSG and Chelsea manager, Thomas Tuchel has progressed from each of his previous seven quarter-final ties in all competitions, a run that began halfway through the 2018-19 season (Coupe de France x2, Coupe de la Ligue, Champions League x2, FA Cup, League Cup).
Middlesbrough and Chelsea have played 24 games so far.
Middlesbrough won three of their four direct encounters. Chelsea won 17 games in a row. A total of four matches finished in a tie. Both sides scored 2.04 goals per match on average in straight matches.
Middlesbrough averaged 1.47 goals per game during the regular season. Total goals (team and opponent) were over 1.5 goals in 15 (78.95 percent) of home matches. Total goals (team and opponent) were over 2.5 goals in 8 (42.11 percent) of home matches in season 2022.
In the 2022 season, Chelsea averaged 2.00 goals per match. Total goals were scored in 17 (68.00%) of away matches (team and opponent) More than 1.5 goals. Total goals were scored by the away team in 13 (52.00 percent) of the matches (team and opponent) Over 2.5 goals are scored.
Middlesbrough 0 : 3 Chelsea
Middlesbrough will see no reason why they can’t add Chelsea to their FA Cup tally, but a tired Blues side still has the defensive nous to keep an untested Boro attack at bay.
Tuchel’s team has struggled against lower-league opponents in this season’s competition, but a new set of attacking options will be hopeful of breaching the Boro’s resistance as the hosts’ FA Cup trip comes to an end in front of their own fans.