Can the Gunners Make it Seven Wins in a Row in the Premiership?
Last updated: October 20, 2016 by Leon Marshal
|Competition:||The Premier League|
One of six 3pm kick-offs this saturday sees Arsenal host Middlesbrough at the Emirates. The Gunners are in relentless form of late and will surely be well up for this fixture after thrashing Ludogrets 6-0 in the midweek Champions League game. Mesut Özil registered his first competitive hattrick, while Theo Walcott and Alexis Sánchez continued their blistering goal scoring form with a goal apiece.
That was Arsenal’s 7th consecutive win in all competitions and it would take a brave man to bet against them in this encounter. There were a few signs of the Arsenal of old last week against Swansea however. A defensive lapse from Granit Xhaka allowed Swansea a goal and a route back into the game after Arsenal were cruising at 2-0. The game finished 3-2 to the Gunnners, but it was made much more difficult than it should have been. Arsène Wenger will surely have drilled defensive stability back into the squad that had kept clean sheets in the 2 Premiership matches before the Swansea encounter.
It’s a much different story on Teeside though. After a win in their 2nd league game, Middlesbrough are now without a win in 7 games in all competitions, with just 1 draw from their last 5. Their last match against Watford was a particularly drab affair, sparked to life only by a fantastic goal from Watford defender Holebas, which was enough to seal the 3 points for the Hornets. The Boro have picked up a couple of draws along the way and have proved hard to beat. Interestingly, almost all their points have come from games away from home, which perhaps bodes well for the chances here. Despite their defensive resilience last season, Boro’s problems are stemming mostly from problems at the back. With Arsenal in goal-scoring form, this could be a long day for Boro in London.
Arsenal will be without Granit Xhaka after the Switzerland international received a red card last week against Swansea. He is suspended until November 6th.
Santi Cazorla picked up a knock on his achilles in the midweek Champions League fixture. He is a slight doubt for the match. Aaron Ramsey is still sidelined with a hamstring injury.
On loan Calum Chambers will be ineligible against his parent club so Middlesbrough will likely look to Daniel Ayala to step in at fullback.
Other than this there are no new injury concerns for boss Karanka to deal with. Adama Traoré has looked impressive in each of his substitute appearances and it should only be a matter of time before he is handed a starting role.
|Arsenal (4-2-3-1):||Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Elneny, Walcott, Özil, Iwobi, Sánchez|
|Subs:||Gibbs, Gabriel, Pérez Martínez, Ospina, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Reine-Adelaide|
|Injured:||Mertesacker, Ramsey, Welbeck, Giroud, Akpom|
|Middlesbrough (4-2-3-1):||Valdés, Barragán, Ayala, Gibson, Friend, de Roon, Forshaw, Stuani, Ramirez, Downing, Negredo|
|Subs:||Bernardo, Clayton, Rhodes, Fischer, Guzan, Traoré, Nsue|
So far this season
|Arsenal this season||Middlesbrough this season|
|3 (3)||(at home) Wins (away)||0 (1)|
|4-1 vs. Hull||Biggest win||2-1 vs. Sunderland|
|0 (1)||(at home) Draws (away)||1 (2)|
|3-4 vs. Liverpool||Biggest Defeat||1-3 vs. Everton||Theo Walcott (5)||Top scorer||Cristhian Stuani (3)|
|Alex Iwobi (3)||Assist Leader||Álvaro Negredo (2)|
|Y9, R1||Discipline||Y18, R0|
|1||Failures to score||2|
|5||Both Teams to Score Games||6|
|6||Over 2.5 Games||4|
|2||Under 2.5 Games||4|
- Arsenal are without doubt the form team in the league at the moment, winning each of their last 6 Premier League games. Theo Walcott already has 5 goals and will be expecting to get on the scoresheet again against a Middlesbrough defence without a clean sheet in 5.
- Middlesbrough have found the net in 4 of their last 5 games, but just once on each occasion. New signing Álvaro Negredo has scored just 1 all season. Jordan Rhodes could start to see more game time if the Spaniard’s goal drought continues.
- Arsenal have also tightened up defensively since the arrival of Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia. Before the last encounter with Swansea, the Gunners kept 2 clean sheets in a row.
- While Middlesbrough are without a clean sheet in 5, their defence is not exactly super leaky. Half their games have featured under 2.5 goals, though this is also a sympton of not scoring enough at the other end.
Head to Head
|Last 5 meetings between the two sides|
|Date||Competition||Game Result||First Goal-scorer|
|15/02/2015||FA Cup||Arsenal 2 – 0 Middlesbrough||Giroud 27′|
|26/04/2009||Premier League||Arsenal 2 – 0 Middlesbrough||Fabregas 26′|
|13/12/2008||Premier League||Middlesbrough 1 – 1 Arsenal||Aliadiere 29′|
|15/03/2008||Premier League||Arsenal 1 – 1 Middlesbrough||Aliadiere 25′|
|09/12/2007||Premier League||Middlesbrough 2 – 1 Arsenal||Downing 4′|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
With the form that Arsenal are in, coupled with home advantage, a win for the Gunners is the obvious call here. I really fancy Arsenal to continue their fantastic form while keeping Boro out, so Arsenal to win to nil at 4/5 has a strong chance. Alexis Sánchez and Theo Walcott have a great chance to continue their scoring form too and you can get either as an anytime scorer at 5/6 at bet365.