Middlesbrough take on Watford on Super Sunday in a game where both sides will fancy their chances. Boro are currently in the 16th position having acquired 6 points from 7 games while the Hornets are on 8 points which sees them in the 11th position. Watford’s season so far has been an up and down one. They have upset Manchester United but were brushed aside by newly-promoted Burnley.
On the other hand, Boro are also struggling in their Premier League comeback campaign despite a strong enough start.
Six points from seven games- Aitor Karanka’s side won’t be happy with the way they have fared so far. They have managed to clinch just one win in the League this term. Watford will still be favourites for the game, though as Mazzarri will be demanding consistency from his side.
Boro have no new injury concerns ahead of the game. Captain Grant Leadbitter, a long-term absentee, remains out along with James Husband.
For Watford, Daryl Janmaat, Dja Djedje and Stefano Okaka are certain absentees with injuries. Craig Cathcart, Miguel Britos, Valon Behrami, Scott Sinclair and Isaac Success are all doubtful with minor knocks.
Predicted lineups and tactical setups
The home side are likely to line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Valdes will start under the bar behind the back four of Barragan, Ayala, Gibson and Friend. Karanka is a defensive minded manager and the back four are likely to sit deep. De Roon and Forshaw will start in front of the back four as a double pivot in midfield. Ramirez will start as the number ten with Stuani and Downing on the flanks. Alvaro Negredo will spearhead the attack and Karanka will hope that the Spaniard finally show his true colours.
Starting XI: Valdes; Barragan, Ayala, Gibson, Friend; De Roon, Forshaw; Stuani, Ramirez, Downing; Negredo
Walter Mazzarri is likely to revert back to his favoured 3-5-2 system once again. Gomes will start between the sticks behind the back three of Kaboul, Britos and Prodl. Amrabat and Holebas will start as the two wing-backs. The midfield trio is likely to be Behrami, Capoue and Pereyra. Skipper Troy Deeney will start up front alongside Odion Ighalo in a two-pronged attack.
Starting XI: Gomes; Prodl, Cathcart, Kaboul; Amrabat, Behrami, Pereyra, Capoue, Holebas; Deeney, Ighalo
Middlesbrough- Alvaro Negredo
Boro signed the Spanish international this summer with pretty big hopes but the 31-year-old has failed to do justice to that so far until this point. He has registered just one goal to his name so far this season and Karanka will look forward to his marquee signing to deliver. We have to wait and see how the former Manchester City attacker fares against Watford.
Watford- Troy Deeney
Deeney has been very impressive for the Hornets from the very start of the campaign. With three goals and one assist to his name already in seven games, he will pose the biggest threat to Boro defence.
Boro win @13/10
Watford win @13/5