Arsenal V Middlesbrough Match Preview
With the glamour and romance, of today’s Champions League Draw, it’s hard to forget we have to get back to the “bread and butter” of the Premiership tomorrow evening in the late kick off against a hard working, well organised Middlesbrough side at the Emirates Stadium.
Our Premiership form, well in-fact our form all together, has been poor in recent weeks in the order of the day definitely three points to keep the pressure on Manchester United.
Arsene Wenger confirmed yesterday that French midfielder, Abou Diaby will miss the game, as well as Tomas Rosicky, despite Wenger claiming over 2 weeks ago, the Czech maestro would be back in “10 days” after being out injured for the past 25 years!, however there is some good news.
Central midfielder, Denilson is expected to be back after a knock on his ankle against Colorado Rapids and should start from the bench, Theo Walcott also got an injury in that match and he will have a late fitness test, so Wenger team could change, even tomorrow afternoon if the England Under 21 star fails, Emmanuel Eboue returns from suspension and could start.
Now, you may think i am trying to trick you, but no, Robin Van Persie is actually fit. yes you did read it correctly, and he is pushing for a starting birth, with Nicklas Bendtner dropping back to the bench, joining Gilberto, Lehmann and Alex Song we will have a strong bench, but Le Boss has a selection headache at the back, does he stick with the impressive Phillipe Senderos, or bring Kolo Toure who is now fit back into the line up? we will found out tomorrow !
Stats And Facts
Now Thanks to forum member “Natsteel” we can bring you some stats and facts so you can wow your friends at the game tomorrow or whoever you watch it with, but if you have nobody, why not come join in our friendly forum, and offer your debate?, more on that later, to the stats !
* Arsenal are win-less against Boro in three matches since the 7-0 win on January 14th, 2006.
That 7-0l win was also the only time up to the present that Arsenal kept a clean sheet against Boro since August 24th, 2003. Arsene is 16-4-6 in his career against them.
* Middlesbrough, are win-less in 3 overall and 4 straight away. Their last victory was 1-nil home to Fulham on February 9th, 2008.
* Boro have 12 more yellow cards than any other team (69 in 29 games) with Boateng (8) and and Rochemback (7) the biggest offenders.
If games ended at half-time Boro would be 6th in the league. They have 14 points from 15 away matches.
* Stewart Downing and Gael Clichy are two of only 13 players who have played in all 29 league games so far this season.
* Middlesbrough are the only team to have beaten Arsenal this season.
Interesting stuff there, so were facing a team, which are physical but often inconstant, but we have the home advantage, however Gareth Southgate takes positives from them beating us at the Riverside.
“Of course Arsenal are the favourites, but we will take encouragement from being the only team to beat them this season, we will have to be at our very best, and they will have to be a little below par for us to get anything”
Middlesbrough Team News
Boro had doubts over £13 million pounds hit-man Alfonso Alves, but the big Brazilian, (who reminds me of Julio Baptista), trained yesterday and is in the squad, as is former Gunners striker Jeremie Aliadiere who ran the show against his former employers in the 2-1 defeat earlier this season, after his 4 game ban.
Score Prediction? My View
Arsenal 2-0 Middlesbrough
if you want to have your say on the score, as well as anything else to do with Arsenal, check out our for-mentioned forum over at www.goonerforum.com
C’mon You Gooners !