Chelsea XI vs Middlesbrough: predictions on lineup and injury latest for Carabao Cup today, team news confirmed

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Chelsea XI vs Middlesbrough: predictions on lineup and injury latest for Carabao Cup today, team news confirmed 

The Blues remain without 10 players as one of the most important weeks of the season begins

Christopher Nkunku is again the headline absence for Chelsea in perhaps their biggest match of the season so far later today.

The 26-year-old forward remains out for Middlesbrough’s visit to Stamford Bridge in the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final on Tuesday.

Nkunku has been out for nearly four weeks due to a hip issue, which kept him out of the 1-0 defeat at the Riverside Stadium a fortnight ago.

Trevoh Chalobah is closing in on his return but isn’t deemed fit enough to play on Tuesday.

But injured trio Ben Chilwell, Carney Chukwuemeka and Benoit Badiashile returned in the 1-0 win over Fulham last week.

Mauricio Pochettino is also without Malo Gusto, Marc Cucurella, Robert Sanchez, Reece James, Wesley Fofana, Lesley Ugochukwu and Romeo Lavia, who are all also injured.

Amid ongoing fitness issues, Pochettino will likely stick to his tried and tested starting XI.

Djordje Petrovic will continue as the goalkeeper in front of a back four, which is expected to include Badishile, Axel Disasi, Thiago Silva, and Levi Colwill.

A regular midfield trio of Conor Gallagher, Moises Caicedo and Enzo Fernandez will line up behind a front three of Cole Palmer, Raheem Sterling and Armando Broja.

Noni Madueke and Mykhailo Mudryk are also available.

Predicted Chelsea XI: Petrovic; Badiashile, Disasi, Silva, Colwill; Caicedo, Fernandez; Palmer, Gallagher, Sterling; Broja.

Injuries: Nkunku, Chalobah, Cucurella, Sanchez, James, Fofana, Ugochukwu, Lavia, Gusto

Unavailable: Casadei (cup-tied)

Time and date: 8pm GMT on Tuesday, December 23, 2023

Venue: Stamford Bridge, London

TV channel: Sky Sports

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