Middlesbrough will welcome Watford to the Riverside stadium as the two sides play out one of the two matches scheduled for Sunday. Middlesbrough are in a dire run against Watford as they are winless in the last 5 matches drawing 2 and losing 3 of those. Watford have found the back of the net in 15 of their last 16 league clashes with Boro. But at the Riverside, Middlesbrough have suffered just one defeat in their last five league meetings with the Hornets (W2 D2).
The stats more or less even themselves out and before going into the match both sets of fans will be quietly confident of nicking three points off the other. Walter Mazzarri and Aitor Karanka are strong personalities and we hope they set up their teams to attack and hence giving us a cracker of a game.
While Watford have already had their moments this season, Boro have stagnated after showing the early promise and the much-needed international break could serve as a mini-preseason of sorts for Karanka and his men. The Riverside will be up for the game after more than three weeks, so watch out for a quick-fire start from the hosts.
Middlesbrough have no new injury concerns, with the likes of Gaston Ramirez and Cristhian Stuani returning unscathed from international duty.
Captain Grant Leadbitter, a long-term absentee, remains out along with James Husband.
Watford’s summer signing Isaac Success could make his full debut after recovering from a leg injury.
Miguel Britos and Valon Behrami could start following knocks, but Craig Cathcart and Daryl Janmaat are out.
Valdes; Barragan, Chambers, Gibson, Friend; De Roon, Forshaw; Downing, Ramirez, Traore; Negredo
Gomes; Juan Zuniga, Prodl, Kaboul, Holebas; Pereyra, Behrami, Capoue; Amrabat, Deeney, Ighalo
The Beast, as he was fondly known to the Manchester City fans, started his second stint well enough but has since failed to impact the games in any way whatsoever. Be that as may, Negredo still remains their best player who can pressurise the opposition and Karanka has to persist with the Valencia loanee. He has the ability to physically deal with most defenders and his finishing ability sets him apart from other big strong strikers who specialise in headers and outmuscling defenders. Negredo has an uncanny ability to pull off tricks and flicks which can lead to an opening against the Hornets tomorrow.
The former Juventus man hasn’t shown a great deal of difficulty in adjusting to life in England and has looked comfortable on the ball and his understanding with his teammates is increasing by the day. With the front two of Watford taking time to get started this season, Pereyra will be expected to provide the thrust from the midfield.