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'Boro V Arsenal Preview

Middlesbrough
vs.
Arsenal

Riverside Stadium

08/12/07

13:30

On Sky

Arsenal can expect another tough game when they make their second trop to the north of the country inside five days on Sunday.

Arsenal may have lost a game in Europe to end the club record of 28 games unbeaten, but it's still 22 games unbeaten in the league for Arsenal. A feat that normally would attract some attention, but considering a certain team went 49 games unbeaten, this run doesn't yet deserve any comparison.

Vital Quotes:

Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate
thinks his side have an oppertunity to spring a suprise this weekend: 'You have to start off by being difficult to beat and we've been that to a degree.

'We have to now take that on a stage, we've got to try and win matches.

'It's a huge test this weekend and one that no one expects us to get much from, so there is an opportunity for us to get something unexpected.'


Arsene Wenger says that it is not just his team that are going to have a tough few months, but that every team has to fight for every point from now till March: 'We go into a period now from the end of November to March where everybody fights for something.

'During this period the points are especially hard to get because there is always something at stake.

'At the end of March it becomes easier to take points, but during these four months you can make a difference.'

Middlesbrough Team News:

Julio Arca (knee) and Robert Huth (ankle) are both back for Gareth Southgate's team after both suffering from long-term injuries.

Mark Schwarzer could return to action after suffering from a broken thumb.

Former Spurs' striker Mido is still out with a groin injury.

Player to watch: Stewart Downing

Local boys seem to be doing a job on Arsenal this season. Jesus Navas in Sevilla, Steven Taylor in Newcastle and Steven Gerrard in Liverpool.

His deliveries from set pieces and crosses will keep Toure and Gallas busy.

Arsenal Team News:

Cesc Fabregas (hamstring), Mathieu Flamini (thigh), Alexander Hleb (Achilles), Abou Diaby (back) and Robin van Persie (knee) for Sunday's trip to Middlesbrough.

Gilberto will be hoping to make another start in midfield alongside either Diarra or Denilson. Although there is a slight chance that his sloppy passing against Newcastle will cost him his place in the team.

Player to watch: Manu Adebayor

Adebayor has found a bit of form again after scoring in 3 of Arsenal's last 4 Premiership games.

If he plays well then there's a good chance Arsenal will walk away with the spoils.

Match Prediction:

I'm going to opt for a draw. Arsenal may be in form at the moment, but 'Boro are always tough to play against. 2-2


Writer:Nick Simmonett
Date:Saturday December 8 2007
Time: 1:13PM

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Comments

0
0-2 adebayor brace
ArsenalRob
08/12/2007 13:34:00
0
Yet again simmo, you really need to stop this reverse psychology stuff. You cannot truly believe that this will be a 2:2? We may draw but there is no chance they will score two.
Goofle
08/12/2007 13:35:00
0
This is a game that we should win but we will suffer the same lack of midfield creativity that experienced against Newcastle. It isn't that Gilbertos passing is sloppy. His passing success rate in the week was the best of all our midfielders. He made as many passes as Diarra but fewer (51%) forward/attacking passes (Diarra 72%). The problem is that Gilberto doesn't bring the tempo to the game that Flamini and also Diarra brings. When we are under pressure the game seems to pass him by to some extent. 'Boro have the highest yellow card count in the PL. Though this doesn't neccessarily mark them out as a dirty team they will get stuck in. But a poor scoring and defensive record with only one win at home we should be able to beat them though maybe the extra youthful creativity that Denilson offers might be needed in place of Gilberto for us to create the chances we need.
Amos.
08/12/2007 13:42:00
0
Boro are a sterile team up front, and leak a lot of goals. They have their 3rd string gk playing, and we should have enough ammo to keep him busy and have them focus on defending the whole 90 mins.
G4L
08/12/2007 14:56:00
0
I think we will 3 -1. I hope Wenger plays more attacking than the Newcastle team. Personally, I would like to see. Almunia, Gallas Toure, Clichy, Sagna, Diarra , Rosicky, Eboue, Walcott, Nic and Ade up front. I doubt that will happen though. I feel if we take it to them within the first 20 minutes with a lot of pace, we will beat them comfortably. We cant play with like we did against Sam's mob, we need to more aggresive and attcaking. If Rosicky takes the place of Cesc in the middle with Diarra covering, then Theo should be given the license to run at them and with Eboues crossing with the 2 tall men, bang, all over by half time.
themadafrican
08/12/2007 21:09:00
0
Please lose.
k_chelski
08/12/2007 23:00:00
0
nothing less than three points.. doesnt matter if its a scrappy win or a total destruction of boro.. its still only 3 points at the end of the day.. need to make the most of l'fool's slip up.. play the two tall man up front and score 3 by half time n rest adebayor, rosicky n clichy after 45 min
McGooner
09/12/2007 00:17:00
0
should be 3-0 to arsenal
MYgood-ners
09/12/2007 02:50:00
0
I think it might be 2-1 to us, lets hope we can just win this one because man utd and chelsea are right behind us now.
AB_Arsenal
09/12/2007 03:28:00
0
1-0 or 2-1 at most, I just want to see Dudu and Bendtner up front as the attacking pair, but given Ade's unexpected performances he should start. Anyway we've remained unbeaten whenever Ade's scored for us. Dudu was doing quite nicely against Newcastle as a striker until Wenger put him on the flanks, let's hope he doesn't do that again.
stukazufuss
09/12/2007 03:48:00
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