Competition: EFL Cup
Market: Middlesbrough to score over 1.5 goals
Odds: 5/6 @ 888sport
Making a competitive return to action after what was a stunning friendly victory in midweek, Middlesbrough will welcome Shrewsbury to an empty Riverside on Friday evening.
Starting with the hosts, while Middlesbrough might have just about managed to hang onto their Championship status last season, they have enjoyed a new lease of life since brining in Neil Warnock. Signing off their extended campaign with a 2-1 victory against Sheffield Wednesday on their travels, the former Cardiff boss will be hugely excited by his side’s remarkable display in a behind closed doors friendly against rivals Newcastle earlier in the week. Really shocking many and picking up a stunning 5-1 win against their Premier League neighbours, Middlesbrough have won four of their last five contests over the summer and should be relishing a return to competitive action on Friday evening. If the Reds are to extend on their EFL Cup adventure this week, they will be calling on a red-hot Britt Assombalonga to lead their charge. Bagging a brace against Newcastle earlier in the week, the 27-year-old has now found the net in his last four straight appearances.
As for the visitors, signing off their pre-season exploits with a 1-0 loss at home against League Two outfit Walsall in midweek, Shrewsbury should be in for what is an unenviable return to competitive action in the North West. Thankfully seeing last year’s campaign brought to an early finish, the Blues were in the midst of a woeful run of form prior to the break and were last seen on third-tier duties getting hit with a 3-2 defeat at home against Oxford. While their FA Cup replay against Liverpool might have been a minor highlight for Sam Ricketts’s men, they remarkably managed to win just a pair of their final 14 League One appearances and had a real reputation for their issues on the road. Up against a Boro side who could be on the verge of a resurge, we’re backing what should be another fruitful afternoon for the hosts.
Bet: Middlesbrough 5/6 to score over 1.5 goals against Shrewsbury in Friday’s EFL Cup matchup @ 888sport
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