Liverpool dispatched SK Brann by a comprehensive 3-0 margin at Anfield last Thursday but Manchester United demonstrated, when losing 2-1 at Sunderland recently after hammering Porto 4-0 in the week, that sides are often be vulnerable immediately after a Euro high.
Moreover, Liverpool appeared sadly lacking in the killer punch that secured championships in the Shankly and Paisley eras when held 1-1 by Nottingham Forest in their previous match. Take the 11-8 Arsenal with William Hill.
Middlesbrough are rampant at present and showed that, even when missing Ravanelli, they have, in Juninho, Emerson and Beck, the men that goals of made of, when beating Chelsea 1-0 at the Riverside on Saturday.
Boro, 8-11 with William Hill, seem to have turned the corner, and the side that put two past Blackburn, three past Leicester and six past Derby in their previous three premiership matches should cut through the Nottingham Forest defence at the Riverside tonight rather more effectively then Sunderland did on Saturday.
After Saturday's 2-2 draw at home to Leicester, Southampton are 1-6 with William Hill to go down. The Saints are up against it, but their run-in fixture list does not look as tough as some of their rivals.
Coventry look likely to go down and are 4-7 with William Hill. With Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal among forthcoming foes, and manager Gordon Strachan unable to construct a sentence that does not begin with "the boys in their wisdom", the omens are grim.