Middlesbrough will start all over again in the Championship after having suffered relegation last season from the Premier League. One of the favourites to earn promotion this season one way or another back to the top flight.
They head out to Molineux to face a Wolves side who were underwhelming throughout last season and this isn’t an easy opener for Boro. But of the previous head to head clashes in the Championship, it is Middlesbrough who have the upper hand.
It was a 15th place finish for Wolves last season in the Championship which was hugely disappointing from them. They were just inconsistent and never got up a head of steam at any point. At home, they lost more games than they won in the league with a W8 D4 L11 record at Molineux posted. So they weren’t reliable on home soil and they are down in the recent head to head form against Middlesbrough also. So there is a reason to expect them to be vulnerable in this.
You would probably be expecting something of a low scoring game in this one. Wolves shelled out over £15 million for Ruben Neves in the summer from Porto. That’s a lot of money for the 20 year old who scored 3 goals in 30 games last season for the Portuguese side.
There is fairly recent head to head form to look at as they were together in the 2015/16 Championship season and during that season they also met in the Capital One Cup.
It was Middlesbrough on top in those games, winning all three against Wolves and putting eight goals past them in those matches. Wolves have actually lost their last four games on the bounce against Boro in all competitions.
Both teams have scored in three of the last four games. Of the last four meetings between the two of these at Molineux only, both sides have won two games each so there isn’t a lot to split them. Overall form on the six previous Championship games Boro are 4-2 ahead.
Middlesbrough’s demise last season in the top flight was due to a lack of goals, but Garry Monk’s men will be expected to do much better in this one. There has been plenty of transfer market action from Boro with the arrival of Darren Randolph and Ashley Fletcher from West Ham and they shelled out £15 million for Britt Assombalonga from Nottingham Forest as well. So they will have something of a new look about them and Boro are 7/2 to win to nil in this opener. But it is more likely that both teams will hit the back of the net in this game, therefore, there will be a bit of appeal for some in a draw/Boro half time/full time, which is a tempting 5/1. That is the same price as a draw/Wolves so it shows you that Boro should be in this.
Wolves 6/4, Boro 7/4, Draw 23/10
Prediction : Boro to win
It may be worth having a bet on Middlesbrough claiming a win in this one. They weren’t an offensive threat in last season’s top flight, but they will have more impact here and the Riverside crew are after all, on a good streak of winning form against Wolves. Good value in backing the Boro in this one. #UTB