Middlesbrough will look to revive their Premier league campaign, when they visit Emirates Stadium to play the Gunners in game week 9. They have started poorly this season after getting promoted from the Championship. Boro now sit at the 17th position of the Premier League table with only 6 points achieving just 1 win so far.
Their opponent on the other hand has been in serious form currently sitting at the second place of the table with 6 wins in 8 matches. They have also been without a loss in the last 7 months barring their opening day defeat to Liverpool.
However, Boro have reasons to rejoice considering their past few records against the North London club. Arsenal have won only 1 of their last six Premier league fixtures against them with 4 of them remaining undecided.
Middlesbrough’s defense has been dismal as they have already conceded 11 goals this seasons in the opening 8 matches. Aitor Karanka has not have the best of back lines in his team though. It’s a mixture of experience and rookies.
Karanka has largely played with 4 at the back, which consists of George Friend, Ben Gibson, the Arsenal loanee Calum Chambers and Antonio Barragan. Karanka will be expected to continue with the remaining three after their slim loss to Watford last week with Ayala coming in place of Chambers.
The fact that inspite of having a highly experience goalie in Victor Valdes, Boro have conceded 11 goals, speaks for itself the current state of their defense.
Considering that the central midfield defensive duo of Marten de Roon and Adam Forshaw will be with the task of stopping Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott, Chamberlain and Alex Iwobi, it could be matter of concern for Laranka. Downing and Stuani has also been empty threat at the attacking third, which made Ramirez look blunt.
He has to deploy something like Mourinho, keeping the defensive midfield close to the backline to make the area congested, preventing any passing space for Arsenal.
Burnley had used similar tactics but unfortunately could not hold on to the defense and conceded one at the last minute. If Boro are to come out unscathed from Emirates this weekend, parking the bus might seem like the safest option.
The bringing in of Alvaro Negredo caused a lot of noise. The Spaniard has however failed to live up to his expectation with only 1 goal in 8 appearances, which pretty much sums up Boro’s campaign so far.