After a promising start against Stoke City and Sunderland, Middlesbrough find themselves without a win in their last five Premier League games, something which Aitor Karanka will be hoping to rectify, after the worldwide break.
The Hornets edged Middlesbrough 1-0 at the Riverside Stadium to sneak into 10th position having won three and drawn two of their eight league matches so far this season.
Let’s be honest, the prospect of Middlesbrough hosting Watford won’t have excited many neutrals to the point where they struggled to sleep on Saturday night. “We need to learn and keep going”, said Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka, who will be under pressure to check his side’s slide down the table. If he scores he will become only the fifth player in the club’s history to reach a century.
Karanka said: “I have suffered in the past and I know how good he is”.
Middlesbrough head in to this fixture looking to get back to winning ways, as they are now on a run of three defeats and two draws in their last five Premier League appearances.
“If I didn’t feel that we could have challenged and got promoted I wouldn’t have made that move”, he told Sky Sports News HQ.
Deeney has scored six times against Middlesbrough for Watford – only against Leeds United has he scored as many for the Hornets.
Downing rejoined Boro last season from West Ham to play a part in their successful promotion, and is desperate to avoid an immediate return to the Championships. Boro defender Ben Gibson tried his luck with a 35-yard shot but the match was still goalless come halftime.
Even me. I was the first one to go out and say the same thing.
That’s according to BBC pundit Chris Sutton, who slammed striker Alvaro Negredo during his post-match analysis on Radio 5 Live.
But a defensive mistake allowed Watford to get their noses in front, with Jose Holebas lashing home after capitalising from Marten de Roon’s poor clearance. Deeney should be properly motivated as the fringe England global is on the cusp of scoring his 100th career goal across all competitions, and has scored in each of Watford’s last four fixtures against Boro.