Five Key Matches
v Stoke City (H) on August 14
Riverside Stadium will host its first Premier League fixture in eight years and it’s already a sell out. A win here will be a perfect kickstart to the season.
v Sunderland (A) on August 21
With Sunderland only just dodging the drop last season, there’s a good chance of points in the Tees-Wear derby.
v Tottenham Hotspur (H) on September 25
A relatively forgiving fixture list mean ‘Boro don’t face last year’s third placed side until late September.
v Manchester United (A) on January 1
New Year’s football sees Middlesbrough travel to Old Trafford for what should be a cracking encounter.
v Liverpool (A) on May 22
A very difficult final day of the season, when survival may be on the line.
SBS Host Lucy Zelic's Prediction: 16th
A return to the Premier League after seven seasons in the wilderness of the Championship, survival will be the priority for Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka, once an assistant to Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid. Expect a counter-attacking side that prefers quality of possession over quantity.