Middlesbrough’s bid to bounce straight back into the Premier League began with a bitterly disappointing 1-0 defeat against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on the opening weekend of the Championship season.
The team from Teesside were amongst the ante post favourites to take the title in the second tier this season and, having seen his side beaten against Wolves, Garry Monk will demand that his players raise the bar in their opening home match of the campaign against Sheffield United on Saturday. Boro can be backed at 87/100 (1.87) with MarathonBet to win this one.
The Blades, League One champions last term, will be buoyant, for they opened their Championship campaign with a hard-fought 1-0 victory against Brentford at Bramall Lane last weekend and Chris Wilder would be delighted to see his side follow up with another three points this weekend.
The Blades further boosted their confidence with a 3-2 win against Wallsall in League Cup action on Wednesday night.
The League One champions, though, face a stiff test in Teesside and, indeed, there is 69/20 (4.45) that the Blades bag all three points, with 71/25 (3.84) that both sides are forced to settle for a share of the spoils.
There were plenty of goals in Sheffield United’s away matches in League One, with six of the Blades’ last seven league matches on the road last season producing at least three goals and that trend continued in pre-season, with four of the five warm-up matches that Wilder’s charges contested on the road producing more than two goals.
Boro, by contrast, struggled to make much impact in the final third last term, scoring more than once in just one of their last eight Premier League matches as they suffered relegation.
Middlesbrough, however, will hope that Britt Assombalonga, who joined the club from Nottingham Forest this summer having scored 14 Championship goals last term, will find his scoring touch in Teesside. Monk’s men, too, will hope to be far more prolific this time around given that they are back in the second tier.
The team from Teesside will certainly feel confident that they can kickstart their Championship campaign on home turf and the 87/100 (1.87) for a home win looks to be a solid enough selection for punters.
Better value, however, could lie in backing Monk’s men to take all three points from a goal-laden game and it is the 13/4 (4.25) quote on offer for Middlesbrough to win a match in which both teams find the target that may well offer punters a path to profit from Saturday evening’s crucial clash from the Championship.