In what could be one of the upsets of the season, Middlesbrough travel to Stamford Bridge to face Premier League side Chelsea in the EFL Cup.
Boro go into the game with an advantage having beaten Chelsea 1-0 at the Riverside earlier in the month. It’ll no doubt have to be a backs to the wall performance if they want to progress to the final, but many fans are confident that they can do just that.
It is not just fans who are looking forward to the enticing tie, which could see the club reach their first EFL Cup final since winning the trophy during the 2003-04 season. Club legend Fabrizio Ravinelli, who scored 23 goals in just 45 matches for the club, has full faith that his former side can reach the final.
“I think we have a big chance because Middlesbrough at this moment have confidence. They have a possibility to make history and get back into the final. We know it is very hard to go to Chelsea and get to the final, but in football everything is possible.
“Chelsea are a fantastic team, but have many, many problems especially when the team needs to win the game because the defence has a lot of problems.”
“Boro will draw against Chelsea to reach the final.”
“A 1-1 draw to put Middlesbrough into the final – definitely. Me and my family will sit on the sofa on Tuesday night and watch the game in our Boro shirts to push the team into the final because it is on Italian television.”
Middlesbrough’s recent success is very much down to the managerial appointment of Michael Carrick. The former Manchester-United player has made the transition from top-class player to manager seem easy, and is no doubt one of the best managers within English football currently.
Ravinelli is fond of Carrick and believes that he can take the side back to the top.
“I remember he has been a fantastic player. He is a quality player. He ran a lot on the pitch but also had quality for the pass. He scored goals. He was a complete midfielder. A fantastic player.
“I remember if you see him play you understand very quickly that in the future he will become a manager because he is intelligent on the pitch. He has made the sacrifices. He has been the assistant manager at Manchester United and I think this is a good experience to be the first manager. Now I think he is a very good manager.
“When he arrived at Middlesbrough he did a great job. He pushed the team and built a fantastic mentality for the team and they play very, very well. Good football. Only one problem is they do not have the continuity to win games [in a row]. It is possible to win one, two, three games and then we lose. This I think is something they could do better. If they do this it is possible they will arrive in the play-offs in the Championship.”
The former-Italian international was a part of the Middlesbrough side who lost in the 1997 League Cup Final and is hoping the current squad get to enjoy something they he could not as a player.
“The first final was fantastic, but the finish was not good because Emile Heskey scored the goal to make it 1-1. We played very very well, I scored the goal. For me it was fantastic because I scored the goal, I played well, the team played well, My family were in London, I scored for the first time in Wembley.
“Had we won the game, we had booked a hotel for a big party with my family. It’s a fantastic moment for one player, especially for one guy who lives in Italy and his family to come to England to see their son play the final at Wembley, because that is a historic stadium in the world. If you have the possibility to score a goal, to win the trophy, I think it is the best souvenir in my life after the Champions League and winning the Italian Cup.”
“It’s a very big regret because when you lose two finals in one year, it’s very disappointing. Not only for me but the club, the supporters. But I remember when I arrived in Middlesbrough after 120 years of history it was the first year of Middlesbrough going into the final.”
Ravinelli is speaking to The Real EFL courtesy of Bitcoin Casinos.