Arsenal make the long trip north to take on Middlesbrough for tonight’s Monday Night Football clash, in a match which will have huge ramifications on both ends of the table.
The Gunners have their usual spot in the top-four under intense pressure currently, with a huge upturn in fortunes needed to leapfrog two of Liverpool, Manchester United or Manchester City. At the other end of the table, Boro sit six points behind the safety zone, albeit with two games in hand, and a loss today would put their Premier League life in jeopardy.
Tonight’s hosts come into the match without a win in their last seven outings, losing five of those, and are amongst those least in form in the division. We have the worst form of the top seven of the division, with our recent win against West Ham posing as our only three point gain since February.
Tonight’s match is a must-win for both sides, and I will be disappointed if the players don’t show that with some fight and fluency.
We may be boosted by the returns of key duo Laurent Koscielny and Petr Cech, who Arsene Wenger claimed were ‘80% likely’ to be fit to feature. David Ospina and Lucas Perez are still believed to be sidelined along with long-term absentee Santi Cazorla.
Bellerin Koscielny Mustafi Gibbs
Walcott Ozil Alexis
As painful as the past months have been, and with our side having won only one of our last eight away days, I still can’t bring myself to expect any less than a win against today’s opponents. Their form is woeful even in comparison to ours, and our players are more than capable of picking themselves up and getting their heads on.
I’m going for a 2-0 win, and expect Boro to try and play out a stalemate, which I think may get them to half-time before we break through.
Can our boys dust themselves on and get our top-four hopes back alive? Do players need to start playing for their Arsenal careers with an overhaul speculated?