Middlesbrough vs MillwallEngland Championship, KO: 15:00 Aug 5, 2023, Riverside Stadium
Middlesbrough begin their 2023-24 English Championship campaign with a clash against Millwall at the Riverside Stadium. Boro are considered one of the favourites to battle for promotion this season and with home form pivotal to their campaign last term, they should have the upper hand on Saturday.
Automatic promotion will be the target for Middlesbrough this term having just fallen short at the playoff stage last season. The good news is that they have retained a bulk of their key players, particularly top scorer Chuba Akpom, who has even been offered a new contract.
Preseason was not particularly smooth for Middlesbrough, who claimed just two wins in seven friendly matches. Defending was a major problem for Michael Carrick's men and all of that was evident in the last two matches as they played out a 3-3 draw with Bradford City before being held 2-2 by French side Auxerre.
Home form was pivotal for Middlesbrough last season and they will be hoping for a similar situation this time around. Some of their biggest wins last term came at the Riverside Stadium with a 5-0 victory over Reading and a 5-1 triumph over Norwich City among their results towards the end of the campaign.
Millwall had a solid 2022-23 campaign as they finished eighth on the standings, missing the playoff by only two points. They will be looking to go one better this time around and at least secure a top six finish.
The problem for Millwall is that they fell away badly towards the end of the season, losing three of their final four matches. That inconsistency appeared to creep into preseason as they claimed just two wins in four matches while suffering a 2-1 defeat to Fortuna Sittard in their final warm up game.
Millwall were not particularly convincing on their travels last season, although they did claim a 3-2 victory over Blackpool in their final away fixture. However, prior to that game, Gary Rowett’s men had been winless in three matches, suffering two defeats in that run.
How the bookies view it
Head to head
Middlesbrough have a 12-9 advantage with eight draws from 21 previous matches with Millwall. Both teams won their home fixture last season with Millwall claiming a 2-0 victory at the Den before Boro triumphed 1-0 at the Riverside Stadium.
Players to watch
Chuba Akpom missed the whole of preseason with a knee injury and is doubtful for Saturday’s clash. Striker Marcus Forss could be the one to watch on Saturday and having found the net in this fixture last season, could be backed to get on the score sheet once again at 15/8 with bet365.
Millwall have managed to hold on to star forwards Zian Flemming and Tom Bradshaw, who combined for 32 goals last season. Both men are expected to feature on Saturday with Flemming priced at 3/1 by bet365 to score anytime while bet365 is offering odds of 7/2 on Bradshaw in the same market.
Anything else catch the eye?
There is obvious attacking quality on both sides and with neither defence looking particularly convincing, goals can be expected here. Over 3.5 goals is priced at 13/5 by BetVictor, over 2.5 goals is valued at evens with bet365 while Unibet is offering odds of 4/5 in both teams to score.
With Middlesbrough often prolific at the Riverside Stadium, they can be backed to score in both halves at 21/10 with BoyleSports.
This England Championship match between Middlesbrough and Millwall will be played on Aug 5, 2023 and kick off at 15:00. Check below for our tipsters best Middlesbrough vs Millwall prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.