Watford Face Rude Championship Awakening

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The English Football League is back and we have taken a look at some key fixtures from all three divisions from the opening round of matches.

Captain Troy Deeney remains at Watford for the start of the new season.

After a short break, the Championship returns on Friday night when Watford play host to Middlesbrough in what will be an early test for the recently-relegated Hornets.

The Vicarage Road outfit’s relegation to the second tier came after a poor run of results following the Premier League resumption and Vladimir Ivic is the fourth manager in 12 months charged with getting them back in the big time at the first attempt.

Watford have added experienced forward Glenn Murray to their ranks and have kept the majority of last season’s squad together, with the exception of Abdoulaye Doucoure.

However, with Neil Warnock at the helm at the Riverside, Middlesbrough are likely to be a tough nut to crack this season and Watford could get an early lesson in just how hard life in the Championship could be with the Teessiders/draw double chance at 4/5.

Forest Ready to Move on From Playoff Heartache

Another club looking to put last season behind them quickly is Nottingham Forest, who shockingly slipped out of the playoffs on goal difference after a 4-1 defeat to Stoke City on the final matchday.

After dusting themselves down, they return to action against Queens Park Rangers and automatic promotion will be firmly on their mind.

Boss Sabri Lamouchi has decided to stay put at the City Ground and he has been busy adding four new players to his squad.

While they do loss key man Matty Cash to Aston Villa, Lyle Taylor, Jack Colback, Tyler Blackett and Miguel Angel Guerrero have joined the club.

Lamouchi’s squad looks strong on paper, and with QPR selling star man Eberechi Eze, they may struggle for goals with a long season ahead of them.

Even though it is week one, Forest look a strong bet at odds of 7/5, and the recent history of these two clubs supports it. QPR have lost their last three home league games to Forest, conceding 10 goals in the process.

Posh Out to Flex Their Muscles

Peterborough United were unlucky to miss out on the playoffs last season after the Football League decided to end the campaign early.

Posh were flirting with the playoffs and had a realistic chance of finishing in the automatic spots when the season came to an abrupt halt.

Although they have lost star-striker Ivan Toney, Peterborough’s ranks have been bolstered by the arrival of Jonson Clarke-Harris, Sammie Szmodics, Reece Brown, Ethan Hamilton and Daniel Gyollai.

They start the campaign with a trip to the Wham Stadium to face Accrington, where they have a great record and are 21/20 to pick up the win.

Peterborough have won on their last three visits to the ground, while they have beaten Accrington three times in a row home or away, scoring 10 goals.

Salford Seek Early Marker in League Two Title Race

The battle for the League Two crown looks like it could be a cracker this season, with Bolton Wanderers and Salford City the two ante-post favourites to be fighting it out for the title.

Exeter City will not be too far away after losing in the play-off final, but if Bolton get their act together, top spot could be theirs for the taking.

Bolton start the campaign against Forest Green Rovers and they are 23/20 to grab all three points.

Even though they dropped down from League One, they have a superior squad, and it is a surprise to see The Trotters odds against.

Salford’s clash with Exeter City is the game of the day in League Two and and the Red Devils are out for revenge after losing their only meeting last season.

The Greater Manchester outfit have recruited well once again, and at 21/20 they are worth considering, especially if Exeter have yet to shake off the effects of their playoff loss.

Tom offers a strong insight into football and rugby league, whilst also having a good knowledge of several other sports including boxing, horse racing and American Football.
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