Back in the EFL Championship for the first time since 2007, newly promoted Luton Town kick off the 2019-20 season when they host Middlesbrough Friday at Kenilworth Road.
For those in the United States looking to watch the 2019-20 Championship opener, the match starts at 2:45 p.m. ET. It won’t be televised on regular TV in the US, but you can watch the match via ESPN+, the digital streaming service from ESPN that has exclusive coverage of multiple Championship matches per week, other live sports, all the 30-for-30 documentaries, and additional original content all for $4.99 per month.
You can sign up for ESPN+ right here, and you can then watch Luton Town vs Middlesbrough live on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone (Android and iPhone compatible), tablet, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or other streaming device via the ESPN app.
Luton Town vs Middlesbrough Preview
Luton Town placed second in League Two in 2017-18 to earn a promotion, then lost just six games in 2018-19 to take the League One title and propel themselves to their first EFL Championship season since 2006-07.
“It’s a very hard league, especially when you get teams coming down from the Premiership and some of them not going back up, it just adds bigger teams to the league,” new Hatters signing Martin Cranie said, according to Luton Today.
“So there’s going to be some very hard games.
“We’re not going to win every week, no-one does, but if we give 100 per cent every week, we’ll get the right results as there’s a good group of players here.
“The supporters might have to get used to we’re not going to win every week as it’s just not how it works, but I’m sure if we go out and we’re at it every week, then we’ll do better than worse.”
Cranie, a 32-year-old center back, has played the bulk of his 345 career league matches at the Championship level. He made nine appearances for Middlesbrough in 2018.
“It’s the big teams straight away, but it could be a good time to play them,” Cranie said, per Luton Today.
“The start of the season, when they’ve got new faces in, they’re still themselves trying to get things together, same as us, so it could be that we’ve caught them at the right time.
“Realistically, you’re expecting those teams to be fighting for promotion, but it’s down to us and what we do.”
Two men will make their head coaching debuts on Friday: Graeme Jones — who scored 113 goals at the senior level — for Luton Town, and Middlesbrough native and former England international Jonathan Woodgate for MFC.
“I can’t wait,” Woodgate said, according to the team’s official website.
“Everything is planned, the last six weeks we’ve really worked hard.
“I’m going to be the proudest man in Middlesbrough leading the football club out.”
He added: “With Luton coming up last year, Kenilworth Road being jam packed, live on the telly, it’s going to be a really difficult game for us.
“Luton will play, they’ll play out from the back, they will play a diamond system, which we know exactly how we are going to play against it, and they will play some good football.”
Middlesborough placed seventh in the Championship last year, one point shy of the play-offs. They tied Sheffield United for the fewest goals surrendered, at 41 across 46 matches, but their 49 goals scored were tied for fifth-fewest.
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