Pre-match analysis: Boro need to follow free scoring Watford's approach

Walter Mazzarri's side have scored 11 goals in their previous four matches, as opposed to Middlesbrough who only average one goal per game this season.

Pre-match analysis: Boro need to follow free scoring Watford's approach
Cristhian Stuani will be hoping to start vs Watford after he scored in Boro's last outing | Photo: James Griffiths/Getty Images

Watford travel to the North East to face Middlesbrough in Sunday's early kick off, and Walter Mazzarri's side will be the clear favourites as the home side have only won one game this season.

A concerning lack of goals on Teesside

Aitor Karanka's Middlesbrough side were know in the Championship for their mean defensive record and their strong back line.

Since the Spaniard's arrival in the North East, Boro have not been a side to put many goals past teams. Their dominance of possession meant they didn't have to.

The step up to the Premier League, however, meant that Middlesbrough would be seeing less of the ball. This has affected their goal tally and ultimately their points total.

Alvaro Negredo's signing was expected to bear fruits, but the former Manchester City striker's only Boro goal came on the first game of the season, and was Middlesbrough's first Premier League goal in seven years.

Jordan Rhodes replaced Negredo in Middlesbrough's most recent home match against Tottenham, and he was in the starting eleven for the visit to West Ham. Rhodes will be looking to make his mark on England's top tier after a number of seasons in the Championship, and opening his Premier League account against Watford would certainly do that.

Alvaro Negredo has scored one goal this season for Middlesbrough | Photo: Lynne Cameron/Getty Images
Alvaro Negredo has scored one goal this season for Middlesbrough | Photo: Lynne Cameron/Getty Images

A striking selection headache for the Hornets

Walter Mazzarri's first seven games in charge of Watford have seen two victories and 12 goals.

Now, however Quique Sanchez Flores' successor has a decision to make upfront, as new signing Isaac Success impressed by securing a point for Watford in the side's most recent match against Bournemouth.

The man who could make way is last season's star man Odion Ighalo. Ighalo has scored twice already this season, but his fellow Nigerian, Success changed the game against the Cherries last time out, and Mazzarri may give his signing a start at the Riverside Stadium.

Watford's defense has seemingly been a problem this season, with the side yet to keep a clean sheet yet this year, but Miguel Britos returning from injury could be a catalyst for this game.