Leicester City travel to Middlesbrough on the opening day of the season looking for a strong start, in a hope to exorcise the demons of the last campaign.

In an insane 60 seconds of football, their promotion dreams were crushed when Anthony Knockaert's penalty was saved, before Troy Deeney went down the other end and scored to book Watford's place in the play-off final.

A sixth-place finish will still be seen as a success though, especially from Middlesbrough's point of view. Tony Mowbray's side were riding high up until Christmas, only to fall away to a lowly 16th in the second half of the season.

For the home side, it is likely that fans will get their first chance to see new arrivals Jozsef Varga and Dean Whitehead in competitive action. The midfield imports should shake up the squad and bring a bit of vitality to the North East club.

Conversely, Leicester have had a fairly quiet summer by their own standards. There haven't been the usually high volume of players coming through the door of the King Power stadium as they try to tighten the belt financially.

One exception to this rule is fullback Zoumana Bakayogo, who was signed from Tranmere Rovers. The Ivorian will offer competition to Paul Konchesky for a place in the starting XI.

In recent times the Foxes have had the better of these opponents, and they are unbeaten in their last 10 matches against Middlesbrough. 

Last year Nigel Pearson's side edged both fixtures by a single goal, and the odds seem stacked against the home side, who are notoriously slow starters, only winning one opening day fixture in the last 12 years.


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Topics:
#Championship
#Leicester City
#Anthony Knockaert
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