Middlesbrough vs Arsenal
Date: 17th April 2017
Kickoff: 20:00 UK/21:00 CET
Venue: Riverside Stadium
Middlesbrough host Arsenal on Monday night in what will surely be a one-sided affair. Boro are yet to win a game this year and their poor performances in recent weeks could spell a huge embarrassment when they take on a team with such quality as Arsenal.
After picking up just two points out of their last three games against Swansea, Hull and Burnley, Boro look set for the drop this season. However, they are not yet technically relegated. With Arsenal on such shocking form by their standards, Middlesbrough could pick up a shock win and rekindle their survival hopes. This is unlikely though as Middlesbrough are in the worst form in the league and are the league’s lowest scorers.
Injury news: Callum Chambers is injured and cannot play against his parent club regardless. Fabio, George Friend and Gaston Ramirez are all cleared to return.
Arsenal are facing not securing Champions League football for the first time in 20 years. The Gunners are on a dismal run of form and have managed just two wins in their last eight league games.
The poor run has now sparked the largest ‘Wenger out’ movement for a long time. It also looks like Arsenal’s squad is starting to fall apart. Not only do they look set to lose their biggest star Alexis Sanchez in the summer. But the squad harmony is also collapsing. This was shown after Arsenal’s embarrassing 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace earlier this week through Theo Walcott’s comments in which he claimed Palace ‘wanted it more’.
With Arsenal set to lose Sanchez, miss out on the top four and players starting to lose faith, a win for Arsenal is necessary if they want to get their season back on track. Also, if they were to lose to Palace then Boro in the space of a week, Arsenal fan TV would most likely go into meltdown.
Injury news: Arsenal hopes to welcome back Cech and Koscienly. Ospina and Perez remain out.
Middlesbrough XI: Valdes, Fabio, Gibson, Espinosa, Friend, Traore, Clayton, De Roon, Downing, Gestede, Negredo
Arsenal XI: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Gabriel, Monreal, Xhaka, Ramsey, Walcott, Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud
Head to head
The last time these two sides met was in a 0-0 draw earlier this season.
Arsenal and Middlesbrough have clashed 131 times. Arsenal have won 64 times, Boro 34 times and there have been 33 draws.
Boro haven’t beaten Arsenal since 2007 in a 2-1 victory in the Premier League.
While Arsenal are on a poor run of form, Middlesbrough are on an even worse run. After failing to beat Swansea, Hull and Burnley it is very unlikely Middlesbrough could get anything from this game, even if Arsenal are on a bad run. The most likely outcome is an easy 90 minutes for Arsenal in which Boro create very little.
Final score prediction: 3-0 Arsenal
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