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Arsenal vs Middlesbrough – Match Preview

Arsenal come into this game on the back of 6 game winning streak in the Premier League a run of wins that has seen them go joint top of the table with Manchester City and with City playing tomorrow this could be the perfect opportunity to go top for at least 24 hours.

Arsene Wenger’s side have not been beaten in all competitions since the opening weekend of the season when they lost out in that somewhat stupendous 7 goal thriller to Liverpool at The Emirates. After the defeat there was a very toxic atmosphere in North London but what a difference two months make.

Fast forward to Wednesday night and they hit Ludogorets for 6 in Champions League action with Mesut Ozil going home with the match ball after scoring a second half hat-trick he’ll hope to take that form into today’s visit of what is now a suffering Middlesbrough.

Aitor Karanka’s side have only picked up one win so far this season and that was against local rivals and fellow strugglers Sunderland back in August. The failure to win since then has seen ‘Boro slip down the table and they now find themselves 17th in the table and only the right side of the drop zone thanks to goal difference.

Their last outing was a not so Super Sunday as Watford came to the Riverside Stadium and left with all three points thanks to Jose Holebas second half screamer. That once again saw ‘Boro register another blank as the early season form of Alvaro Negredo seems to be but a distant memory.

The pressure is starting to mount on Karanka as that search for a win continues, in fairness to him though they haven’t been heavily beaten on any occasion but it’s the kind of performances where they are not really on top during a game which will worry the former Real Madrid manager.

It’s kind of performances that will see Boro go down without much of a fight if they continue and they need a win to get their campaign back on track, unfortunately for them going to The Emirates is probably the hardest place to get one right now.

Last weekend Arsenal edged out Swansea 3-2, the scoreline suggests a close game and in fairness it was but had Theo Walcott been more ruthless in front of goal then the result could and should have been more impressive. What was impressive was the fact that Arsenal played the last 25 minutes with a man short after Granit Xhaka’s somewhat harsh red card.

There’s no doubt Arsenal are flying right now and go into this match as firm favourites, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who would go against the form guide in picking the match result and I can’t see anything other than an Arsenal win and then sitting top of the tree on Saturday night. Home win for me.

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