Stoke City take on the visitors Middlesbrough in the round 4 match of English Championship. The match will be played on Wednesday, August 17th at Bet365 Stadium (Stoke on Trent).
Stoke City gradually became a mid-table side. The "Potters" were a strong team with a set of quite stellar, albeit not top, players. For a long time they stayed somewhere near the “equator” of the Premier League standings, and even became FA Cup runners-up in 2011. But, having taken off, the glorious team somehow did not stand out in any way at a new, albeit lower, level. Now the club has an experienced and quite successful mentor, Michael O'Neill. Last season there was a modest 14th place, and now there was a defeat to Millwall in the 1st round and relegation on penalties from Morecambe in the League Cup. Yes, they won against Blackpool, but in the last match it was followed by 1-3 at Huddersfield.
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Middlesbrough was a bit short from success last season. They are somewhat reminiscent of their next opponent. At one time, it was an original team that was playing in the Premier League, took the League Cup and even made it to the UEFA Cup final. And, most importantly, having flown to the Championship, he was already returning to the “tower” under Aitor Karanka. It did not work out to gain a foothold. But in the last draw, Chris Wilder, it seems, did not have enough time. A Sheffield United legend, he came to the rescue in November. And Middlesbrough finished with him in 7th place, just outside the playoff zone. True, despite optimistic expectations, the start was littered: 1-1 with West Brom at home, 2-3 at QPR, pulled out in the 82nd minute 2-2 with Sheffield United. Between these results, they also flew out of the League Cup, immediately losing at home to Barnsley 0-1.
As part of the Championship, Middlesbrough plays confidently with Stoke. For 8 meetings of the last years there was only 1 defeat with 5 victories. In 3 last fights they collected 7 out of 9 possible points. Both clubs look bad at the start, but a full-time duel is also a chance to improve, so we are waiting for a productive fight. We recommend betting on "over 2.0 goals"
Prediction for the match: Over 2.0 scored goals.