Middlesbrough v Watford – Riverside Stadium at 13:30 live on Sky Sports 1
Boro host Watford at the Riverside Stadium this Sunday looking to end their winless run. Despite their poor form they come into this match as favourites. At 2.32, they don’t appeal to me, but the Hornets do on the Asian Handicap market.
It’s been a tough return to the Premier League for Middlesbrough. After 7 games they have just one win and seven points, leaving them 16th in the table.
Only once before have Boro had fewer points at this stage of the season in the EPL (5), back in 2005/06. They did finish 12th that year however.
Having won promotion, Aitor Karanka added some real quality to his squad but the step up in class has seen them struggle. They are now without a win in their last 5 league matches, L3 D2.
Offensively, they haven’t been too bad, scoring in 6 of their 7 league fixtures. They have some real talent in Alvaro Negredo and Christian Stuani and against a leaky Watford defence, they should find the back of the net again this Sunday.
Defensively, against the 6th best attack in the league though, I think they will struggle.
It’s been an exciting opening to the season for Watford already. Plenty of goals and a couple of impressive wins over West Ham and Man Utd have kept everyone entertained.
Former Inter boss, Walter Mazzarri took over in the Summer and is still getting used to life in the Premier League. The win over United will certainly be a highlight, but there has been some disappointment also.
The loss to Burnley and Gillingham in the EFL Cup, have shown weaknesses in the squad. It’s still early days for the new gaffer however and to have 10 points on the board after 7 matches, having faced Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd, is not to shabby at all.
They have 12 goals to their name already this season and have only been shut out once. They have plenty of talent in attack in the likes of Ighalo, Deeney and Isaac Success and will be confident in adding to their tally this weekend.
Asian Handicap & Total Goals
Watford have been under-estimated here for me. Ok, last time out they were beaten well, 2-0 by Burnley, but they were not at the races that day. They have already beaten West Ham away this season and earned a solid point at Southampton.
I can’t see Middlesbrough keeping them out and at worst, Watford should come away with a point here. At 1.97 with a +0.25 advantage on the Asian Handicap market they offer some value.
For my recommendation, I’m turning to the goals market as the price for Over 2.25 goals on the Asian line looks inflated at 2.08. 71% of Watford’s matches have seen 3 or more goals this season and Boro aren’t goal shy either.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Over 2.25 goals at 2.08
Prices correct at time of writing.
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