Middlesbrough vs Sheffield United Predictions, Betting Tips and Preview
Gary Monk’s Boro’ side surprised a few when they were beaten at Wolves on opening day, but is that really a shock in a division that competitive? The hosts will have a perfect opportunity to bounce back here, but the Blades will see this as a free shot with all of the pressure on Teeside club.
Game: Middlesbrough vs Sheffield United
Venue: Riverside Stadium
Kick-off: Saturday, 12th August, 5.30pm
Gary Monk and Middlesbrough fans will have felt the side should have took something from their opening day defeat at Wolves. Despite the hosts being most definitely the better side on the day, they did afford Boro’s marquee signings several chances. Braithwaite squandered a glorious free header before Britt Assombalonga was also guilty of being wasteful. It was a game of few chances, but several clear cut ones did go begging.
Sheffield United will have no such regrets about their opening day win over Brentford after the visitors fired a few early warning signs and failed to take their chances. After a shot came crashing back off of the United bar, the hosts seemed to spring into action and took a deserved 1-0 lead. The Blades may have built on that lead soon after, only for officials to call the play back.
On paper it’s a straight-forward affair here. Sheffield United will know the size of their task here, and indeed, going to a smarting Boro side for their first home game of the season could make for a long afternoon. But at the same time the Blades can play without pressure here with three points already in the bag, and the longer this one stays goalless, the more the visitors. could start to grow in confidence.
Middlesbrough are a tidy price at 10/11 with Bet365 to beat a side that were two divisions below them last season, whilst the draw is offered at 23/10 with Sky Bet. The Blades are well capable though, and the ‘upset’ can be backed at 3/1 with Betfred.
Gary Monk and Middlesbrough have spent a hell of a lot of money in a bid to return at the first time of asking. Leeds, Sheffield United, Aston Villa and many more clubs in this division will tell them how hard it is, but regardless, the pressure is on Boro to win games and start winning them soon. Vast amounts has been invested in a strikeforce that failed to deliver on opening day, so a few goals at the Riverside should settle the nerves nicely.
The visitors were guilty of allowing far too many sloppy goals the last time they played at this level but Sheffield United look like they can carry last seasons organisation and style into the Championship and may just be better off for having the chance to go down and rebuild. In Boro’ they do face a side that should arguably have too much quality to be overwhelmed by the occasion though, and just like Brentford last week, I feel the visitors are in the wrong place at the wrong time here.
Back our Free Betting Tip: Middlesbrough to win at 10/11 with Bet365
Even in defeat Boro’ managed to keep things very tight against some good teams in the Premier League. It’s a new look team here and one with a different manager, but the blueprints are in place for a season similar to Boro’s last promotion campaign, and Garry Monk did do a good job of organising Leeds at the back last season. But you would have to think that once Boro’s strike force get up and running, the Teeside club could be capable of some very lopsided results at home. But they aren’t there just yet.
Back our Score Prediction: 2-1 Boro win at odds of 7/1 with Bet365
When you pay so much money for someone, you expect them to hit the ground running. It’s not always easy to do that just because someone paid a big price tag for you. Sometimes, it’s often harder. But despite failing to take his chances on opening day, Assombalonga was sharp and he looked like he could be a real menace to defences this season.
Back our Scorer Prediction: Assombalonga to score at best odds of 21/10 with Betfair