The Gunners have dropped 17 Premier League points since their 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on New Year’s Day; their 3-0 loss to the same team only a week ago shows how far they have fallen. Arsene Wenger continues to take criticism of him on the chin but without a comprehensive win over relegation threatened Middlesbrough, it looks increasingly unlikely that Arsenal will be able to push for a Champions League spot.
Middlesbrough will be boosted by captain George Friend and Gaston Ramirez returning from injury and will be hopeful of stealing some points against Arsenal, despite failing to win a game in 2017 so far.
Boro’ have struggled in front of goal all season, scoring only 22 times, and they will have to rectify that quickly if they are to stand any chance of saving their stalled Premier League campaign.
What time is kick-off?
The match kicks off at 8:00pm.
Where can I watch it?
It will be shown live on Sky Sports 1, coverage begins at 7:00pm.
It’s a big game for…
Alexis Sanchez: Training-ground tantrums and contract speculation has dampened the strikers blistering start to the season. Sanchez’s below par performance at Crystal Palace only emphasised the need for him to put aside his off-field concerns and play his part in avoiding what is turning out to be a bitter end to the Gunners’ season.
Middlesbrough are unbeaten in their last four Premier League home games against Arsenal (W2, D2).
Jose Antonio Reyes scored Arsenal’s second goal in 30 seconds which helped the Invincibles romp to 5-3 win at home to Middlesbrough in 2004.
Player to watch…
Ben Gibson: The man who earned his first England call-up earlier this season has been the key to Boro’s impressive defensive record. Their collective resilience has been due to the commanding centre-backs leadership and communication.
If Gibson is able to live up to his impressive season which has seen him lead the Middlesbrough defence to 10 clean sheets, it will be challenging for Arsenal to take control of the tie.
Middlesbrough 0 Arsenal 0, Premier League, October 2016
Middlesbrough 0 Arsenal 2 (Giroud 2), FA Cup, February 2015
Middlesbrough 0 Arsenal 2 (Fabregas 2), Premier League, April 2009
Middlesbrough to win: 11/2
Arsenal to win: 13/25