Wolverhampton Wanderers v Middlesbrough predictions, betting tips and preview

Wolves will be aiming to put their disappointing last season behind them when they welcome Middlesbrough at the Molineux Stadium for the opening round of the new Championship season. Wolverhampton come into this tie on the back of an excellent 1-0 home win over the Premier League side Leicester City in a friendly game last weekend thanks to a second-half goal from Ivan Cavaleiro. Meanwhile, Middlesbrough beat Augsburg 2-1 thanks to goals from Martin Braithwaite and Adam Forshaw. Below we will take you through everything you need to know and…

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Championship season review – Rotherham, Sheff Wed, Wigan, Wolves

Rotherham United: 24th (relegated) It is difficult to know where to start with Rotherham. This was simply a season to forget; one which saw the club relegated pretty much before it had even begun. Not for many a year has a side finished with so few points, as a squad packed full of journeymen and loan players found itself truly incapable of competing at Championship level. Having pulled off a magnificent escape from the drop in 2015-16, the following summer was actually sprinkled with hints of optimism, with Alan Stubbs having…

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Championship season review: Nottingham Forest, Preston, QPR, Reading

Nottingham Forest: 21st Yet again, there was a new manager in situ at Nottingham Forest heading into a new season, this time in the shape of Frenchman Philippe Montanier, whose aim was to arrest the club’s downward trend of recent years. It was an unforgiving role that was not made any easier by a lack of summer signings and discontent from the fans towards owner Fawaz Al Hasawi. The team got off to a mixed start, and soon developed a Jekyll and Hyde tendency to win at home – where the…

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Championship season review – Ipswich, Leeds, Newcastle, Norwich

Ipswich Town: 16th There is a very strong argument to suggest that Ipswich have overachieved during Mick McCarthy’s reign as manager, which has lasted since October 2012. Despite a continued lack of investment from the top, play-off challenges had been mounted in each of the previous three seasons, in which a very workmanlike squad probably achieved more than the sum of its parts. Therefore, as few changes were made to the playing staff once again over the summer of 2016, it was reasonable to assume that standards could slip, and there…

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Championship season review – Cardiff, Derby, Fulham, Huddersfield

Cardiff City: 12th Few managers thrive in the Championship more than Neil Warnock. Taking over at Cardiff in October with the club seemingly headed for a serious fight to stay in the division, he drew upon his vast experience to lift them well clear of danger and an eventual top half finish, an achievement which looked way beyond them at the outset. With previous boss Russell Slade having been moved aside in the summer and then choosing to leave his new role as Head of Football, Paul Trollope led the Bluebirds…

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Championship season review – Brentford, Brighton & HA, Bristol City, Burton

Brentford: 10th Although there were never any seriously realistic hopes of reaching the play-offs, or any concern about possibly being drawn into a relegation scrap, it was far from a dull season from Brentford. The reflection of stability, a young side full of technically gifted individuals proved as entertaining as they were inconsistent, in the process doing enough to suggest that promising times lie ahead. One thing that was fairly constant throughout was their strong home form, only dropping two points from their first five outings at Griffin Park in a…

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Championship season review: Aston Villa, Barnsley, Birmingham, Blackburn

Aston Villa: 13th After sinking from the Premier League without trace in 2015-16, a summer of transition inevitably ensued at Aston Villa as this illustrious club aimed to lift itself off the floor. Taken over by the Chinese businessman Tony Xia, former Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo was appointed the new manager and although a surprisingly high number of the existing squad remained, hefty sums of money were spent on strikers Ross McCormack and Jonathan Kodjia. Expectations were high, but there was clearly a weak mentality within the squad which showed…

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Championship Season Review – Reading, Rotherham, Sheff Wed, Wolves

Reading: 17th It was clear that Reading underachieved badly in 2014-15, so manager Steve Clarke quickly set about building a squad that would make a bid for the play-offs at the very least. Some high profile loan signings arrived including Chelsea starlet Lucas Piazon and Benfica’s Ola John, but it did not spark a flying start as results early on proved tough to come by. That was until the end of August, when something clicked and they were suddenly unplayable, wiping the floor with both Brentford and Ipswich Town in…

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Championship Season Review – MK Dons, Nott’m For, Preston, QPR

Milton Keynes Dons: 23rd (relegated) After knocking on the door for several seasons, MK Dons finally achieved promotion to the Championship in 2015, and having wiped the floor with many of the teams in the third tier it appeared as though they would have little trouble acclimatising to playing at the higher level. Some key players departed over the summer, but their absence was not felt initially as a resounding win at Rotherham United on opening day was not long followed by victory at home to Bolton Wanderers. However, things began…

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Championship Season Review – Hull, Ipswich, Leeds, Middlesbrough

Hull City: 4th (promoted via play-offs) Manager Steve Bruce offered to resign after failing to keep Hull in the Premier League in 2015, but the club managed to convince him to stay on. That persuasion eventually paid off as the club returned to the top-flight at the first attempt by coming out on top in the play-offs. They were in the mix all season as a strong start immediately had them among the promotion contenders. The only early blemishes came in away defeats to Charlton Athletic and fellow pace setters…

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Championship Season Review – Charlton, Derby, Fulham, Huddersfield

Charlton Athletic: 22nd (relegated) A season which began in encouraging fashion soon became one to forget as Charlton descended into turmoil, suffering relegation to the third tier after four seasons back in the Championship. It was never in doubt once the downward spiral began, with results on the pitch eventually marred by the sheer weight of protests towards the club’s Belgian owners. After a mid-table finish in 2015 there was optimism around in South London and that was enhanced by an opening day victory over Queens Park Rangers. Further positive results…

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Championship Season Review – Brighton & HA, Bristol City, Burnley, Cardiff

Brighton & HA: 3rd In almost any other season, 89 points would be more than enough to win automatic promotion, and comfortably at that. For that reason Brighton can consider themselves massively unlucky not to have secured top-flight football for the first time since 1983, with a second chance in the play-offs having also failed to deliver the status befitting of their stadium, facilities and their fan base. There was clearly ability within a squad that had been added to by the signing of Israeli striker Tomer Hemed and left-back…

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Championship Season Review – Birmingham, Blackburn, Bolton, Brentford

Birmingham City: 10th For the second year in a row, Birmingham City have finished 10th in the Championship, but the contrast between the two seasons is massive. In 2014-15 Gary Rowett took over a side that looked to be headed for relegation and galvanised them, whereas this time around they were very much in the play-off picture until fading away during the closing weeks as a strong home record deserted them. At the beginning the aim was to stay clear of danger and maybe push for another top half finish,…

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Championship season review: Sheff Wed, Watford, Wigan, Wolves

Sheffield Wednesday: 13th This was a season that saw Sheffield Wednesday make strong progress both on and off the pitch, as they performed solidly throughout to achieve a comfortable mid-table finish, while owner Milan Mandaric handed over the reins to ambitious Thai businessman Dejphon Chansiri. Stuart Gray had earned the manager’s job on a permanent basis after guiding the Owls clear from a precarious position in 2013-14, and they looked a force to be reckoned with early on, winning at Brighton & Hove Albion, more than playing their part in…

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Championship season review: Norwich, Nottm For, Reading, Rotherham

Norwich City: 3rd (promoted via Play-offs) Despite all the parachute payments that come their way, it is always difficult for a side relegated from the Premier League to bounce straight back the following season, so Norwich deserve immense credit for their success, which came via the play-offs. Keeping several players was vital to their success, with experienced duo Sebastien Bassong and captain Russell Martin making up a strong defensive pairing with full-backs Martin Olsson and Steven Whitaker either side. In midfield, Alexander Tettey and Jonathan Howson were superb alongside Player…

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Championship season review: Ipswich, Leeds, Middlesbrough, Millwall

Ipswich Town: 6th A hardworking and industrious side, but few expected Ipswich to significantly improve on their 2014 placing of ninth, particularly as they did not make many summer signings while some of their rivals looked better equipped. However, in Mick McCarthy they have a manager used to achieving success in the Championship, and for a number of months he raised great hopes among those in Suffolk that the Tractor Boys were in line for a return to the top-flight after some 13 years away. After an inconsistent August, they…

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Championship season review: Charlton, Derby, Fulham, Huddersfield

Charlton Athletic: 12th The Addicks were one of the favourites to struggle, having needed a late upturn in results to avoid the drop in 2014. The man who masterminded that escape was not kept on, as Jose Riga made way for fellow Belgian Bob Peeters, who took his first managerial job in England. And in the early weeks they were the surprise package, with dynamic striker Igor Vetokele grabbing the goals that had been so elusive the previous season to secure home wins over Wigan Athletic and Derby County. High-flying…

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Championship season review: Bournemouth, Brentford, Brighton & HA, Cardiff

Bournemouth: 1st Just six years after they overcame severe financial problems and a 17-point deduction to stay in the Football League, Bournemouth were miraculously promoted to the top-flight for the first time. It represents the crowning glory on the growing list of amazing achievements during Eddie Howe’s two spells as manager. They meant business from the moment the season began, scoring within seconds of an opening day 4-0 victory at Huddersfield Town. And although their form dipped a little until the end of September, that performance would be a sign…

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