Whisper it quietly, but as they may be make a return to Premier League football after seven years, Middlesbrough are building a team which could achieve a lot more than merely escape relegation.
According to our latest #WhatAreTheOdds request, one Boro fan has lofty expectations for the season ahead.
Aitor Karanka has welcomed a number of impressive signings to the Riverside Stadium this summer, including Marten de Roon from Atalanta, Bernardo Espinosa from Sporting Gijon, Viktor Fischer from Ajax and Antonio Barragan from Valencia.
And then there’s the arrival of former Barcelona and Manchester United goalkeeper Victor Valdes.
Boro’s ambition should be lauded, especially with the club landing the lethal La Liga striker Alvaro Negredo on a year-long loan from Valencia.
All this has got hopes high on Teesside, and our latest WATO request reflects that optimism.
One fan has got in touch with us, and is backing Boro to finish in the top eight this season at 14/1.
It’s a tall order, with this season’s Premier League expected to be one of the most competitive ever seen, but the request is a reflection of the progress Middlesbrough appear to be making.
Should this hopeful fan see his bet come good next May, it would be just the second time in 41 years that Boro have finished so highly.
Seventh-place in the 2004-2005 season remains the Teessiders’ finest Premier League finish, but there is hope and optimism in this part of the north-east, and Boro are certainly a club to keep an eye out for this term.
Karanka will be hoping his new recruits can settle in immediately, with Boro 5/4 to get their Premier League return off to a winning start versus Stoke next month.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.