Watford kick starts their life in the Championship this weekend with an opening-day fixture against side Middlesbrough. The opening match scheduled for Friday with kickoff at 9:45 pm.
The Hornets struggled in the Premier League last season, managing to finish 19th in the league ahead of Norwich City. The coffin’s final nail was sealed following the 3-2 loss to side Arsenal with Aston Villa surviving the red line.
After a demotion to Championship, the Hornets were fast to show Nigel Pearson the door. It was evident that the management was searching for a new coach in the dugout to usher the new era of the club.
Pearson’s replacement Vladimir Ivic has had successful spells in his managerial role in PAOK and Maccabi Tel Aviv. The Hornets supporters remain optimistic the new guy in charge will regain the side’s glory.
Neil Warnock has a hard time in charge of several experienced heads in the side laving on a free transfer. However, he will cherish a successful pre-season with victories over side Newcastle and Shrewsbury Town in the EFL Cup. The side will have to lower their expectations of a playoff bid, especially with the lack of transfer activity this window. This is despite carrying 12 points from their opening eight matches at the end of last season.
Watford vs. Middlesbrough Head to Head
Both sides have 16 games against each other, with Watford taking home eight wins while Middlesbrough with four wins. Here is a look at their previous encounters:
Watford 2-1 Tottenham
Arsenal 3-2 Watford
Watford 0-4 Man City
West Ham 3-1 Watford
Watford 2-1 Newcastle United
Middlesbrough 4-3 Shrewsbury Town
Middlesbrough 5-1 Newcastle United
Plymouth Argyle0-1 Middlesbrough
Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough 1-3 Cardiff City
Watford Team News
After sustaining an injury during their encounter against Tottenham, Andre Gray remains a doubt ahead of the match. Other out of contention sides ahead of the clash includes the likes of Ismail Sarr and Troy Deeney. This pushes for Murray to lead the attacking lines.
Middlesbrough Team News
Warnock is unlikely to make any changes in the squad that did the done against side Shrewsbury Town. Sam Stubbs remains the only absentee ahead of the clash after joining Fleetwood Town this week.
Prediction and Odds
We expect Watford to come to all guns blazing this week with hopes of a Premier League return bid for the side.
Goals Under 2.5
No Score: Away