Middlesbrough’s bright start to the season is long behind them, and with just a single point over the club’s last four matches, Boro has an opportunity to right the ship at home against Watford live at 8:30am E.T. on NBCSN or live online at NBCSports.com.
Boro was unbeaten through the season’s first three matches, picking up five points over that span and proving themselves a tenacious out. However, they then slumped to three straight losses and only a draw against West Ham heading into the international break saw the club break that spell without a point. Now sitting 17th, they can jump all the way to 12th with a win at home today.
WATCH LIVE: Middlesbrough vs. Watford via NBCSports.com
Gaston Ramirez and Cristhian Stuani both start after returning from international duty without any problems, and George Friend remains the captain in place of the injured Grant Leadbitter, who has not seen time yet this season after surgery to repair a hernia. Victor Valdes starts in goal for the fifth straight match, leaving American Brad Guzan on the bench.
Watford comes to Riverside Stadium with a slightly better league position, sitting 12th with eight points, but just a point over the final two matches before the break against Burnley and Bournemouth has surely left them disappointed and hungry for more.
Major summer signing Isaac Success has finally used the international break to recover in full, and makes his full debut for the club having only been seen in five separate substitute appearances this year on the back of his recovery from a leg injury. That problem kept him out of international duty over the break, although coach Walter Mazzerri has confirmed his full recovery, much to the disdain of the Nigerian Federation. Success’s introduction to the starting lineup comes at the expense of Odion Ighalo who has started every Premier League match thus far for the Hornets, but only has one goal to his name.
Middlesbrough: Valdes, Barragan, Chambers, Gibson, Friend, De Roon, Forshaw, Stuani, Ramirez, Downing, Negredo
Subs: Guzan, Ayala, Bernardo, Clayton, Fischer, Traore, Rhodes.
Watford: Gomes, Kaboul, Prödl, Britos; Amrabat, Capoue, Behrami, Holebas, Pereyra, Success, Deeney
Subs: Pantilimon, Mariappa, Guedioura, Zuniga, Watson, Ighalo, Kabasele.