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Middlesbrough V Chelsea: Confirmed Lineups, Diego Costa Starts

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Eden Hazard of Chelsea (C) celebrates scoring his sides first goal with his challenges team mates during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Everton at Stamford Bridge on November 5, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Chelsea take their winning run of form to the Riverside Stadium to face Aitor Karanka’s Middlesbrough.

Antonio Conte’s side have won their last five Premier League games in a row, all without conceding, and a sixth consecutive victory will take them back to the top of the league table.

Boro, meanwhile, have won just one game since August and could do with three points to move away from the relegation zone. They will, however, take some degree of confidence from recent away draws at Arsenal and Manchester City.

For today’s match, Karanka makes two changes from the side that claimed a late point at the Etihad just before the international break.

George Friend’s injury means that former Manchester United defender Fabio da Silva starts at left-back, while Gaston Ramírez comes in for Stewart Downing on the left wing.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Marten de Roon of Middlesbrough celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Middlesbrough at Etihad Stadium on November 5, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Conte, meanwhile, is also unwilling to deviate much from the winning formula. Despite being ruled out of Spain’s midweek friendly against England, striker Diego Costa is fit to play today and starts in attack.

César Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill and David Luiz once again make up the three-man central defence, meaning still no starting place for captain John Terry, while Pedro continues to keep Willian out of the side as part of the front three.

There is a return to the matchday squad for Cesc Fabregas after several weeks out through injury, with the Spanish international on the bench.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Eden Hazard of Chelsea celebrates scoring his sides first goal with his Chelsea team mates during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Everton at Stamford Bridge on November 5, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Referee: Jonathan Moss

Last Season: No corresponding fixture

Recent Form (all competitions):

Middlesbrough: L  D  L  D  W  D

Chelsea: W  W  W  L  W  W

Selected Match Odds: Middlesbrough 6/1  Draw 16/5  Chelsea 8/15

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.