Chelsea’s second game of the new Premiership campaign kicks off at the Riverside later this evening with both the manager and players eager to avenge last season’s shock 3-0 defeat.
“It is the one performance last year that stands out as our worst so we will try and put that right. But the most important thing is to get six points out of six at the start of the season,” said Frank Lampard earlier this week.
New signing Khalid Boulahrouz goes straight into the squad while Claude Makelele and Michael Ballack, both ruled out of the win over Manchester City, are back in training and could feature. Geremi, Joe Cole, Petr Cech and Robert Huth are all injured, and William Gallas remains in limbo.
Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate underwent a baptism of fire at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday as his side slipped to a 3-2 loss after taking a two-goal lead.
Southgate will be without new signing Julio Arca, who’s expected to miss three weeks after breaking a bone in his foot during the defeat at Reading, while Gaizka Mendieta is pushing for a recall to the first team.
Not since 1995, when they beat Chelsea 2-0, have Boro won an opening home Premiership fixture.