Can Middlesbrough Bounce Back From Wolves Defeat Against Sheffield United?

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Garry Monk - Leeds United

Garry Monk did not get off to the start he would have wanted as Middlesbrough manager last weekend as he saw his side fall to a 1-0 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux. Wolves debutant Leo Bonatini scored the only goal of the game in what was a tightly fought encounter throughout.

Monk will now be making sure his side are solely focused on Boro’s next Championship outing which is their first home league match of the season at the Riverside against Sheffield United on Saturday evening. It will, without doubt, be a tough test for Boro against last season’s League One champions but it is a game in which they will be expected to pick up three points.

We take a look at the main talking points ahead of one of the standout games in the Championship this weekend.

Can Boro get off the mark after their opening day defeat? 

A lot of managers at this level speak about the importance of a good start to the season. For teams such as Boro, who have recently been relegated from the Premier League and have aspirations for an immediate return, it is highly important. Monk will be making sure that his side do not dwell on their opening defeat too much but will be equally aware that they must improve if they are to get promoted this season.

Middlesbrouremainsain firm favourites to win the Championship title next May despite their opening day defeat. They are also strong favourites to overcome Sheffield United on their home patch on Saturday night. It is very important that Boro pick up the three points in this match as any other outcome will be viewed as a shock. They do not need this sort of pressure at the beginning of the season.

Need to perform at a high level for the whole match

The Championship is a highly competitive division in which anybody can beat anybody on any given day. If you are not playing to the best of your ability, you are at risk of losing the match. Boro found this out the hard way last weekend after a poor first-half performance cost them the match against Wolves. They played very well in the second-half to try and force a way back into the match but the damage had already been done by this point.

Middlesbrough found this out the hard way last weekend after a poor first-half performance cost them the match against Wolves. They played very well in the second-half to try and force a way back into the match but the damage had already been done by this point.

Middlesbrough will have to be at their best to get the better of Sheffield United this weekend. Chris Wilder’s side have had an impressive start to the season as they beat Brentford 1-0 at Bramall Lane last weekend before coming back from 1-0 down to beat Walsall 3-2 in the Carabao Cup in midweek. They will be relishing the opportunity to play at the Riverside as the underdogs and will look to take advantage of any anxiety from the home crowd.

They will be relishing the opportunity to play at the Riverside as the underdogs and will look to take advantage of any anxiety from the home crowd.

A chance for Boro’s attacking force to open their accounts

Monk has invested heavily in trying to improve Middlesbrough’s strike force so far this summer by bringing Britt Assombalonga, Martin Braithwaite and Ashley Fletcher to the club from Nottingham Forest, Toulouse and West Ham respectively. The trio cost Boro’s hierarchy a significant amount of money and it is vital that they provide the goals to help fire the club back into the top flight. They will see this game as a great platform to open their accounts for the season.

The trio cost Middlesbrough’s hierarchy a significant amount of money and it is vital that they provide the goals to help fire the club back into the top flight. They will see this game as a great platform to open their accounts for the season.

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