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Championship Predictions > Sep 11th & 12th


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Watford vs Middlesbrough

The opening game of the new Championship season is scheduled to kick off at 7:45pm BST on Friday evening at Vicarage Road when recently relegated Watford will start life in the second tier of English football against a Middlesbrough team that are being touted by many as dark horses to potentially gate crash the division's play-offs. Who will take the points in this curtain-raiser?

Watford have done incredibly well to keep the crux of their Premier League squad together during the summer break after suffering that disappointing drop from the promised land. Former PAOK and Maccabi Tel Aviv manager Vladimir Ivic has been handed the task of getting the Hornets back up. Little is known about the former Serbia and Montenegro international but he's got a wealth of talent still within his ranks including Gerard Deulofeu, Ismaila Sarr, and Etienne Capoue. The departure of Abdoulaye Doucoure to Everton for £20 million is a blow but hardly unexpected. A number of arrivals have also boosted the squad including Glenn Murray on loan from Brighton, Jeremy Ngakia from West Ham, and the Udinese duo of Stipe Perica and Francisco Sierralta.

Middlesbrough start their first full campaign under manager Neil Warnock. The former Cardiff man has a reputation for being able to get the job done in the Championship but is this a challenge too far? The club is notoriously not exactly packed with Warnock-style players and the summer break hasn't seen a buzz of activity on the transfer front. The trio of Ryan Shotton, George Friend, and Adam Clayton have said farewell with a number of other players departing on free transfers or due to the end of their loan deals including Daniel Ayala, Rudy Gestede, Patrick Roberts, Ravel Morrison, and Lukas Nmecha. Only Cole Kiernan and Grant Hall have arrived from Sunderland and QPR respectively. The team showed their attacking qualities in the 4-3 win over Shrewsbury in the EFL Cup 1st Round last weekend but this will be a huge step up in quality.

I really wish Warnock all the best with his Middlesbrough side but as the lads pointed out on the Not The Top 20 season preview podcast, this could be a job too far for Neil. Boro have a solid side but they remain vulnerable at the back. I still feel they need to be active in the remainder of the transfer window otherwise the best they can hope for is mid-table mediocrity and that will take some expert work and nous from Warnock. In this game, I think we'll see a battling display by the visitors but this Watford side is packed with quality and experience that should have enough to win games like this in a business-like manner.

Watford to Win @ 2.04 with VBet

BTTS @ 2.00 with William Hill

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Football Facts and Streaks regarding Championship

There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Middlesbrough’s last 4 games in Championship.
Watford have seen under 2.5 goals in their last 5 matches against Middlesbrough in all competitions.
Middlesbrough have won 83% of their last 6 away matches in Championship.
Watford have kept a clean sheet in their last 3 home matches against Middlesbrough in all competitions.

You can find interesting 31 Football Betting Facts and Streaks for 11.09.2020 on this link ... https://eurofootballrumours.com/football-facts-and-streaks-11-09-2020-20639

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(Players stats are from last season.)

 

Watford FC vs Middlesbrough

 

 

Watford FC

Doubtful:

Out (injuries/other): Will Hughes (30/1 m), Andre Gray (23/2 f), Troy Deeney (27/10 f), Gerard Deulofeu (28/4 f), Daryl Janmaat (8/0 d), Isaac Success (5/0 f), Adam Masina (26/1 d), Etienne Capoue (30/0 m), Roberto Pereyra (28/3 m), Danny Welbeck (18/2 f)

Suspended:

 

Middlesbrough

Doubtful: Hayden Coulson (29/1 d, illness)

Out (injuries/other): -

Suspended: -

 

Daily updated injuries and suspensions information from more then 100 football leagues and competitions worldwide at: www.injuriesandsuspensions.com

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Football Facts and Streaks regarding Championship

Birmingham have failed to win their last 14 matches in Championship.
Barnsley have kept a clean sheet in their last 4 home matches in Championship.
There have been under 2.5 goals scored in Barnsley’s last 8 home games in Championship.

You can find interesting 45 Football Betting Facts and Streaks for 12.09.2020 on this link ... https://eurofootballrumours.com/football-facts-and-streaks-12-09-2020-20642

Edited by Magic0024
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Birmingham vs Brentford

The Championship action continues on Saturday with the televised game being shown at 12:30pm BST when Birmingham face Brentford at St Andrew's. Both teams endured campaigns that ended in disappointment last season and will be hoping for going a step better this time around. Can either side get things off to a winning start or will we see both teams cancelling each other out?

Birmingham have long been a side that appear intent on self destruction. Owners Trillion Trophy Asia have already dismissed a number of high-profile and capable managers including Gary Rowett, Harry Redknapp, and Garry Monk preventing any sense of progress. Aitor Karanka has now been tasked with taking the Blues to the promised land and he's wasted no time in bringing in new faces. Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge from Cardiff, left back George Friend from Middlesbrough, midfielder Jon Toral from Hull, winger Ivan Sanchez from Elche, forward Jonathan Leko from West Brom, and midfielder Adam Clayton from Middlesbrough have come in to boost the ranks. The only major departure being the hot prospect Jude Bellingham to Borussia Dortmund. Even with those additions, Birmingham are going to need every bit of Karanka's defensive nous to tighten up their back-line and defy many pundits who feel mid-table mediocrity is the best this club can hope for.

Brentford had looked like a side ready for the Premier League last season. Unfortunately, Thomas Frank's side missed several opportunities to pip West Brom to the second automatic promotion spot and eventually lost to Fulham in the play-off final. Preparations for this season have taken a blow with star striker Ollie Watkins departing to Aston Villa for £28 million. This transfer wasn't exactly a surprise so the Bees had already acted to bring in his replacement in the shape of former Peterborough front man Ivan Toney. Frank will be delighted to still have Said Benrahma and Bryan Mbeumo on his books but for how long? The signing of centre back Charlie Goode has also been made in an attempt to shore up that defence.

The elephant in the room for this game is how Brentford will adapt to life after Watkins. It's not easy to replace 25 league goals at the drop of a hat. Will Toney score that many in his first season back playing at this level? It seems unlikely. So where will the other goals come from? Or will Frank be hoping to keep more out at the other end? Birmingham will be a difficult side to play this season. Karanka is notoriously progressive with his style of play. I think it's still too early for Karanka to have Birmingham playing the way he'd like so I think Brentford should sneak this one.

Brentford to Win @ 1.93 with BetVictor

Total Goals Scored Under 2.5 @ 1.77 with VBet

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Cardiff vs Sheffield Wednesday

The final preview for this weekend's Championship games is my hometown club of Cardiff taking on a beleaguered Sheffield Wednesday in a 3pm BST kick-off on Saturday afternoon at the Cardiff City Stadium. These two sides will have contrasting ambitions this season after the home side were eliminated in the play-offs last season and the away side begin this campaign with a 12 point deduction.

Cardiff might have surprised many, not least their own fans, by reaching the play-offs last season but it was a gut-wrenching end to the campaign to miss out by just 1 goal against Fulham. It was even more painful to see Fulham go on and get promoted back to the Premier League. Still, Neil Harris will be looking to build on that positive end to the regular season last year. The £2 million signing of Kieffer Moore has been seen as a big statement. Further additions of Liverpool's Sheyi Ojo and Arsenal's Jordi Osei-Tutu have also got fans excited. Unfortunately, the pre-season plans were disrupted with Moore, Gavin Whyte, and Will Vaulks being called away on international duty and pacy winger Nathaniel Mendez-Laing being released after a breach of contract. The club remains quiet on further details surrounding that controversy. The Bluebirds start this season having won 7 of their last 10 league matches.

Sheffield Wednesday face an uphill battle to stay up this season after having 12 points deducted for entering administration. Garry Monk has moved fast to get rid of a lot of deadwood in the squad such as Steven Fletcher, Fernando Forestieri, Morgan Fox, Sam Hutchinson, Sam Winnall, and Atdhe Nuhiu. The Owls head coach has been shrewd with their replacements with the likes of central midfielder Fisayo Dele-Bashiru from Manchester City, centre back Chey Dunkley from Wigan, forward Elias Kachunga from Huddersfield, attacking midfielder Josh Windass from Wigan, and striker Izzy Brown from Chelsea on loan all coming in. The club lost 5 of their last 7 league matches last season and have only kept one clean sheet in their last 9 away matches.

I'm usually a pessimist when it comes to Cardiff and I have to say that I think this could be a tricky opener for us. I'm not looking into our hammering at the hands of Northampton in the EFL Cup last weekend too deeply. Harris used it as a chance to try a new formation in the absence of Moore, Vaulks, and Whyte. It failed. I'm sure he'll resort to our tried and tested 4-4-1-1 for this game. Monk really hates us and he always hypes his teams up because he's always desperate to beat us due to his affiliation with Swansea so they are always difficult games against his teams. Our lack of options out wide now Mendez-Laing has gone are a concern. I think a draw will be satisfactory for both teams here.

Draw @ 3.30 with Betfred

BTTS @ 1.91 with 888Sport

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