Middlesbrough vs Arsenal by Luke
Middlesbrough had all the chances to walk away with something in the last Premiership league match at home against Burnley, but the team stood to a goalless draw and took only a point in a game that ment so much to them. Overall, they were better and probably deserved more, but the team will need to learn to risk more towards the end especially.
They had much more of the ball possession and chances created, however weren't that concrete in attack and had to be satisfied with a draw only, as they now have a run of seven matches without a victory, only taking two points in a progress. The team is now still inside the relegation zone, with three points more than rock bottom placed Sunderland and six points less than safely placed Hull City.
Home team should be playing in 4-2-3-1 formation with Gestede as central striker, plus Downing, Ramirez and Traore as offensive midfielders. Their manager has said that he will have close to fully fit squad for this one, while central defender Calum Chambers (19/1) remains unavailable due to their loan deal with Arsenal, his parent club. Couple of more players are doubtful for now, but with all the chances to recover on time.
Arsenal, on the other side, comes from a 3:0 defeat away from home in the most recent Premiership match played last Monday evening against Crystal Palace. Although they had much more of the ball possession and surely much more of the individual quality, the team managed to show really poor performance against relegation fighters.
Not only that, they actually had no response at fighting spirit of Crystal Palace players, who took the lead in seventeenth minute via Townsend, but also ruled the second halftime with two more - via Cabaye and Milivojevic. Overall, home team fully deserved three pointer as they simply knew what they wanted with the ball to their feet. The team is now only at seventh position, having ten less than Champions League placed Manchester City and they need a victory so badly here.
The Gunners will most likely be playing also in 4-2-3-1 formation, using Giroud as central striker, but also Chamberlain, Ozil and Sanchez as offensive midfielders. Injured remain midfielder Santi Cazorla (11/2), offensive midfielder Lucas Perez (14/4) and goalkeeper David Ospina (10/0). Goalkeeper Petr Cech and defender Laurent Koscielny should be back in the team after injuries.
- There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Arsenal's last 9 away games (Premier League).
- Arsenal have conceded at least 3 goals in their last 4 away matches (Premier League).
Home team is six points behind safely placed sides and can't afford to wait anything here. Arsenal remains favorite, but with terrible current form away from home and even though they are in a must win situation too, their current away form is more than questionable. Having that in mind, but also that the game represents must win situations for both teams, I see plenty of goals being scored here with ease.