Market: Both teams to score
Odds: 10/11 @ 888sport
With the Championship making its return to action on Friday night, Watford will start life in the second-tier when they host Middlesbrough from behind closed doors.
Starting with the hosts, while Watford might have started life under new boss Vladimir Ivić with a 3-1 hammering at home against League One Gillingham in their first pre-season contest, there is no doubt that the Hornets would have been boosted by an eye-catching display last weekend. Shocking many and signing off their summer preparations with a 2-1 win against Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham at Vicarage Road, they managed to muster back-to-back pre-season wins and some feel the mood in Watford’s camp could be on the rise. Hoping to mount an immediate Premier League return this season, the Hornets should also be boosted by their eye-catching displays on home soil before losing their top-flight status this summer. Including a 2-1 win against Newcastle back in July, Watford lost just a pair of their final six Premier League contests at Vicarage Road, including that famous 3-0 romp against Liverpool.
As for the visitors, while Middlesbrough might have just about managed to hang onto their Championship status this summer, the Reds have begun to show some real signs of improvement under new boss Neil Warnock. Managing to come past Shrewsbury in what turned out to be a seven-goal thriller in the League Cup last week, the former Cardiff boss also saw his side lay down a real marker in a behind closed doors friendly contest against bitter rivals Newcastle. Really shocking many ahead of their season opener in the capital this weekend, Boro picked up a stunning 5-1 romp against their Premier League neighbours and have really started to show a clinical edge in the final third. With both Ashley Fletcher and Britt Assombalonga enjoying a free-scoring run this summer, we’re backing what should be a lively season-opener at Vicarage Road on Friday.
Bet: Both teams to score at Watford vs Middlesbrough 10/11 for Friday’s Championship opener @ 888sport
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