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Morning fellas. I’m really looking forward to the start of the domestic season which kicks off in just a week or so now, and in mind of that I have another antepost selection for the Championship.

Selection: Middlesbrough top 6 finish in Championship
Odds: 2.1 William Hill, Sky Bet
Stake: 1 point

When Pulis came in at Boro they sat 9th having lost 9 of their 25 games. After his appointment they played a further 21 games, winning 11, losing just 5. Over this time they were the 6th best side in the league. The 5 defeats that Pulis oversaw were against Villa (4 days after his appointment) Fulham, Norwich, Cardiff, Wolves and Sheff Utd. In the Sheff Utd and Norwich games they were reduced to 10 men within side the first 30 mins, so a pretty decent return.

Boro didn’t really play in the way I expected them too last season under Pulis and I think this season will be see a Pulis type of team. He has already gone out and brought two CBs in Flint and McNair (who could and probably play as a defensive midfielder) and a right back in Barragan. Flint is a typical Pulis CB, big and excellent at set pieces.

Going forward they have the likes of Assombalonga, Gestede, Downing and Bamford. If they can keep hold of Traore then they have real pace. If he does move to Wolves then WBAs Matty Phillips is strongly linked who would be a real asset.

Friend, Ayala and Gibson, Fry and Shotton added to Flint looks a solid base with players like Leadbitter, Howson, Clayton and McNair with a selection of good strikers it’s a good squad.

I can’t see Boro not finishing in the top 6. Stoke look strong to me and you’d imagine they will be up there, WBA may still lose players and I am not convinced by (Wolves Mk 11) Forest. Swansea I think may find it the hardest of the relegated club to adjust, whilst I wouldnt be touching Leeds for a top half finish never mind top 6. Villa look to be a little unstable and Derby will go well, but Boro have an experienced manager and a good squad.

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